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Case: Calcasieu Estuary Bayou D’Inde, LA

Site History: Bayou d’Inde has been contaminated by releases of hazardous substances since the area around the bayou was developed for industrial purposes. Chemical manufacturing and petroleum refining facilities were established in the vicinity of Calcasieu Parish around the early 1920s when oil and natural gas deposits were discovered in the area. Since that time, industrial development in the watershed has increased greatly to include over 30 major industries.

Location: Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.


Case status:

  • Remedial investigation is ongoing
  • Selection of remedial alternatives is underway

Overview: Bayou d’Inde is a major tributary of the Calcasieu River, in the northern area of the Calcasieu Estuary. It originates in Sulphur, Louisiana, and then flows east-southeast through an industrialized area before joining the river at Lockport Marsh. The bayou is approximately 9 miles (15 km) in total length, and is characterized as primarily freshwater near the headwaters and becomes more brackish as the bayou approaches the river. The bayou and adjacent marshes are contaminated by hazardous substances, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins/furans, and other hazardous compounds released from facilities found along its shores including from past spills and unpermitted discharges. The natural resource trustees (Trustees) are working with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Bayou d’Inde Group (consisting of several of the facility operators) to identify the nature and extent of the contamination within the bayou, and to determine what remedial actions should be implemented to address potential risk to human health and the environment.

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