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Cankton waste site returns as an issue

Possible contamination at a site near Cankton is back under investigation.
The St. Landry Parish Council passed a resolution at its Sept. 16 meeting to authorize Parish President to contract with attorney Bill Goodell and other environmental attorneys to file a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, Chevron and other defendants to cleanup and decontaminate an underground water pool near Cankton.
The action also seeks to recover monetary damages for the parish.
If contaminated, the site threatens the Chicot Aquifer which is a source of drinking water for much of southwest Louisiana.
Goodell limited his comment to say only that the matter is under investigation.
Council member Harold Taylor said the attorney has told the Council that tests have found contamination as much as six feet below the surface,.
Taylory said the village of Cankton has passed a similar resolution.
The contamination issue has percolated through Cankton since the 1980s when residents complained about bitter-tasting water.
The source then was identified as the 80-acre Mar Services site, used to dispose of oil field waste. The site has been used by about 300 companies beginning in 1934.
A permit to use the site was revoked in 1992 and a struggle began to get it cleaned up.
Cleanup began in 1997 and all tanks were removed from the site in July 2000.
The two companies that held the original 75-year lease, Exxon Mobil and Unical, formed Margone in 1998 and had a lease running through 2009 to clean up the site.
The cleanup cost about $5.3 million, according to news reports.
Monitoring for contamination was to continue until 2009.

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