"BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The state sent a $3.5 million bill this week to the Texas company it blames for a massive sinkhole that has swallowed more than 5 acres of land in Assumption Parish and contaminated an aquifer."
A voluntary evacuation order to about 350 people living in the area remains in effect.
The state says data shows the sinkhole is linked to the collapse of a side wall of an underground salt cavern that Houston-based Texas Brine operated. The company extracted brine and piped it to nearby petrochemical facilities.
The company has acknowledged a relationship between the sinkhole and the breached cavern, but has suggested geologic tremors in the area may have caused the cavern breach.
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