Carrying gas masks is a part of daily life at Arance, a village near the natural-gas fields at Lacq, Southwest France, in case gusts of wind-borne gas reach the village from the Lacq installation.
Carrying gas masks is a part of daily life at Arance, a village near the natural-gas fields at Lacq, Southwest France, in case gusts of wind-borne gas reach the village from the Lacq installation. In all six localities with a total population of some 4,000 are provided with gas masks.
Masks are supplied by the Lacq Administration for the protection of all villagers - from the youngest in arms, children at school, farm workers who complain their crops are affected by pollution, to the oldest villager - he is 94.
The national commission against pollution of the atmosphere keep constant watch on the region and advise evacuation in the case of strong pollution. Villagers constantly watch the flames belching from a gas outlet at the plant; should it go out for a prolonged period - it went out once last January for a short time - risk of pollution increases.
Estimates put the full production of gas from the Lacq fields at 20 million cubic metres a day by the end of 1960 to provide power for industry and in the relatively depressed areas of Southwest and Central France. Eventually the gas will be piped to industries in the North; the 1560-mile gas pipeline network when completed at the end of the year will be the longest in Western Europe. The major by-product from Lacq is sulphur.