More than 1 million gallons of oil may have spilled in Gulf of Mexico, threatening wildlife
An oil spill late last week could have released up to 1.1 million gallons of crude oil off the southeast shore of New Orleans, near Plaquemines Parish, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard first reported the oil spill Friday after overflight teams saw oil moving away from the Louisiana shore.
On Monday, the Coast Guard said in a press release that the spill was near the Main Pass Oil Gathering’s (MPOG) company pipeline system, which stretches 67 miles. While it was not immediately clear when or where the leak took place, the Coast Guard said MPOG closed the pipeline at 6:30 a.m. Thursday.
The precise volume of the release “is currently unknown,” but “initial engineering calculations indicate potential volume of crude oil that could have been released from the affected pipeline is 1.1 million gallons.”
It added that the “Unified Command is working diligently to determine the source of the release.”
Vehicles were working to survey the pipeline as long as weather permitted. The cause of the incident is under investigation, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard is overseeing the coordinated response “to mitigate the impact” of the oil spill, and the Coast Guard said the Unified Command was coordinating with federal, state and local agencies “to ensure the safety of the public, protect the environment, and respond to the incident.”
NOAA Emergency Operations Coordinator Doug Helton told WWLTV he was concerned about the endangered species in the area.
“A big spill is really not based on the volume as much as what is the potential impact,” Helton told the local TV station. “There are endangered and threatened species in Louisiana waters. Most of the coastal Louisiana is wetlands and marshes, and that’s typically considered really sensitive to oil.”
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