In late 2012, a portion of swamp in Assumption Parish disappeared, leaving a ten acre sinkhole in its place. It has since grown to 22 acres and, in conjunction with bubbling gas in the surrounding areas, prompted a community-wide evacuation that is still in place a year later. While local and state officials worked to respond to the situation, containing debris from spilling over into the nearby ecosystems, many questions remained regarding overall community safety.
In early 2013, Franklin Associates was tasked by Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources to help facilitate the implementation of a 13-member Blue Ribbon Commission, chartered to set safety triggers, benchmarks and long-term monitoring recommendations for Assumption Parish. The commission consists of scientific experts from around the world, bringing considerable knowledge to an unprecedented situation. Franklin’s team has assisted in coordination of all commission meetings, assisting with agenda preparation and execution, as well as logistics for on average, two commission meetings per month, including facilitation of public meetings and conference call meetings. The team also has provided direct updates to parish officials as needed.