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.
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.