Company fined over sinkhole says it's trying

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Owners of a failed brine storage cavern say they're working as fast as possible on a state order for work at the Assumption Parish sinkhole.

Spokesman Sonny Cranch says Texas Brine Co. lawyers will review a $100,000 fine ordered Saturday by state Conservation Commissioner James Welsh.

Welsh says the company's too slow in three areas: installing air monitors and improved ventilation in slab homes around the sinkhole; installing a system to prevent more waterway contamination; and drilling new wells to burn off natural gas.

Residents of 150 Bayou Corne-area homes evacuated in August because natural gas was leaking into the underground water supply and the sinkhole was expanding.

It has grown from less than one acre to eight acres.

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