Informative post on another thread, wanted to share it here:
From: Re: Sinkhole emergency butane flared 40 !!!!!!!!Emergency response”
The "flare" isn't actually coming from the cavern itself, and never did.
They are flaring through a flare stack, a tall joint of pipe with an ignition source at the top that burns unwanted/dangerous/etc material... no flames inside the cavern.
A 40' flare may sound huge, but I have seen (and worked on) much larger on a daily basis for many years.
I have years of experience with these. I can see the point of flaring out of a stack in this setting being a double-edge sword... the height of the flame will help ensure that no dense, low-lying combustibles are ignited during this operation, but I have seen large gusts of wind carry flames much larger than this close enough to the ground to cause concern... this may be why the emergency response plan was enacted, the choke was opened too much letting an unsafe amount of gas flare at once...
A thermal oxidizer would have been a MUCH safer option in this setting. An enclosed flare that eliminates most of the pollutants and dangerous by-products of flaring before releasing them into the atmosphere... much more expensive than flaring, which is why it wasn't chosen.
From my experience I would say the flaring is safe, at the moment. Roads were closed briefly (which I'm sure is where "emergency response" came into this), probably to make sure once the choke was backed off that the flare would back off as well.
But I will also confirm one thing: oil and gas companies don't give a fuck about your health. They don't care about your safety. They don't care if you're dead or alive, the loss of our lives would be considered collateral damage, as many have said before me. Money and greed power the machine. There is no rule, state or federal, that won't bend FOR THEM. It is my job to ensure that these rules are upheld, and that the general public is kept safe. I have been in the corporate offices of almost every major energy company to discuss their safety programs and contingency planning, and I have witnessed in most cases a blatant disregard for the safety of humanity and the environment. The only thing they are concerned with protecting is the almighty buck.
With that being said, I don't mean to downplay this situation at all, but people freaking out about the flaring should target their concerns at the many other dangerous factors going on now... this is an impending disaster, no way around that.
I have been asked by many of these companies to turn a blind eye as they break the rules, but refuse. Fuck putting a price on human life.. animal life... any life. I have averted many shady operations in the past, but this one is completely out of my realm, and I am deeply concerned with how it's going to turn out.
Pray, love, send positive energy, whatever your thing is, to the people of Louisiana... and the many other areas that this could potentially affect. This situation is no joking matter.
Responded back to him with a few more questions.