Louisiana is no stranger to oil and gas activities and the oilfield pollution that comes with it. However, oilfield pollution from decades or even a century ago can cause serious problems for the health and safety of residents. Simply because contamination occurred a long time ago does not mean that it is not causing harm today. In fact, many oil and gas companies hid their contamination. This makes locating and removing it incredibly difficult and expensive. But, fully remediating a property is the only way to make it safe.
In the early days of oil and gas operations, operators created unlined pits for the storage of oil and wastes. These pits were unregulated for many years. However, they allowed hydrocarbons, produced water, and sometimes radioactive substances to seep into the soil and groundwater. Most times, landowners were totally unaware that hazardous materials were being released into the environment.
How to Spot Contamination
If your property was used for oil and gas operations at any time, you may not be able to tell if it is contaminated. However, below are some things to look for that may indicate contamination exists today:
- Abandoned oilfield equipment or used oilfield pipe on your property
- Areas where grass, vegetation, and trees will not grow
- Oily sheens in areas where there is standing water or following rain
Sampling Your Property
Ultimately, there is no way to be sure that your property is not contaminated from oilfield activities by sight alone. Simply because your property looks clean does not mean it is. To confirm the presence of contamination you should have someone gather samples and test for the hazardous materials that could be on your property.
Our firm has worked with landowners throughout the state to help restore their property. We can help you put together a plan if you had oil and gas operations on your property. Contact us to get started.