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Mar 18, 2013 9:14 AM by AP/CS

DNR to appoint sinkhole commission

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Secretary Stephen Chustz will appoint the members of a "blue ribbon commission" by the end of this week to determine when Bayou Corne residents can safely return home.

The sinkhole led to evacuation of about 150 homes in August.

Patrick Courreges, DNR spokesman, tells The Advocate experts are being sought from federal and state government, academic institutions and consulting firms to fill an estimated 12 to 17 spots.

The appointments will cap a busy week of meetings, buyout talks, a governor's visit to Bayou Corne and key seismic testing related to the failure of the Texas Brine Co. LLC cavern believed to have caused a 9-acre sinkhole in the area.

On Sunday, Assumption Parish officials say another belch of oily hydrocarbons and debris surfaced.

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