Category: Gulf Oil Spill


Source: Rawstory

Thousands of fish have turned up dead at the mouth of Mississippi River, prompting authorities to check whether oil was the cause of mass death, local media reports said Monday.

The fish were found Sunday floating on the surface of the water and collected in booms that had been deployed to contain oil that leaked from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Times-Picayune reported.

“By our estimates there were thousands, and I’m talking about 5,000 to 15,000 dead fish,” St Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro was quoted as saying in a statement.

He said crabs, sting rays, eel, drum, speckled trout and red fish were among the species that turned up dead.

Taffaro said there was some recoverable oil in the area, and officials from the state’s wildlife and fisheries division were sampling the water.

But he added, “We don’t want to jump to any conclusions because we’ve had some oxygen issues by the Bayou La Loutre Dam from time to time.”

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Source: AFP

The US Coast Guard dispatched emergency teams Tuesday after a boat crashed into an oil well off the coast of New Orleans, reportedly sending crude spewing some 20 feet into the air.

The wellhead, located about 65 miles (104 kilometers) south of New Orleans, was ruptured when it was struck by a dredge barge being pulled by a tug.

The Coast Guard said it could not immediately confirm reports that a giant fountain of oil was now spewing from the damaged wellhead, which was situated only six feet (1.8 meters) below the surface of the sea.

A strike Coast Guard team from Mobile, Alabama had been dispatched by boat to the scene as well as a helicopter from New Orleans with a marine pollution investigator on board.

“There have been reports of oil from the elision and we are investigating those reports to mitigate any environmental concerns,” petty officer William Colclough, a Coast Guard spokesman, told AFP.

“The oil spill liability trust fund has been enacted to provide monetary support for any clean-up operation.”

Unrelated to the massive gusher recently capped by BP deep down on the seabed, the incident did occur in a nearby part of the Gulf of Mexico and could require clean-up vessels to be redeployed if reports are confirmed.

Source: Shreveport Times

Although he doesn’t believe Tropical Storm Bonnie will be a serious problem, Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday declared a state of emergency “just in case.”

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In a press conference at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, Jindal said the storm was moving at 14 miles per hour across the Gulf headed for Louisiana or northeast Texas but the fast speed was “good for Louisiana” because it wouldn’t have much time to build strength. However, it was spending a lot of time over water, instead of land which would break it up.

“It’s wise to prepare for a Category 1 hurricane, just in case,” the governor said, even though forecasters don’t expect it to be more than a tropical storm.

Forecasters’ “cone of error” includes the entire Louisiana coast, so at this point it’s difficult to tell where it might go, he said. Landfall is expected around 2 p.m. Sunday.

The biggest worry, state officials said, is that winds and high tides would drive the Deepwater Horizon oil far up into Louisiana’s marshes, which serve as nurseries for much of the nation’s seafood. If that happens, it could also enter coastal homes and camps.

“There’s a potential for winds and waves to drive oil inland,” Jindal said. With 427 miles of coast already affected, “we don’t need additional oil in our marshes.”

Jindal said the state Department of Environmental Quality will monitor any such occurrence and will inspect any homes that are affected to determine if it is safe for residents to move back in. He said BP wil be held accountable for any damages caused by oil intrusion.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Strain instructed cattlemen along the coast to secure their livestock to prevent any exposure to oil or consumption of oily grass.

The governor said bad weather has caused BP to stop drilling a relief well and it could take as long as two weeks to reposition the drill ship and get back online.

There’s a 40 percent chance of tropical storm force winds at the site of the leaky well, so the Coast Guard instructed BP to keep the underwater cap in place.

Parishes with low-lying areas that usually flood during storms are expected to issue evacuation orders today as the disturbance moves closer to the state.

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