Clean up efforts ongoing after 14,000 gallons of oil spill into Terrebonne Bay
“The remaining product is expected to dissipate naturally over the next few days,” said the U.S. Coast Guard
NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO) and Hilcorp officials continue clean up efforts for an oil spill after a tank platform collapsed at the Hilcorp Caillou Island facility in Terrebonne Bay, Louisiana on Monday, Aug. 8.
The source of the nearly 13,944 gallons of oil was secured, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
An overflight of the area on Wednesday morning showed no remaining recoverable oil in the area.
Officials say the remaining product is expected to dissipate naturally over the next few days.
Nearly 10,000 feet of containment boom was deployed along with three shallow water skimming vessels and ten fast response vessels to contain and recover observable oil. Additional overflights, drone evaluations, and on-water assessments will continue to closely monitor the situation.
Minimal marsh and wildlife impacts have been observed. There are currently no closures of fisheries in the area.
A claims line for people affected by the spill has been set up at 281-486-5511.
No injuries have been reported and the cause of the incident is still under investigation.
Marine safety information bulletins and broadcast notice to mariners have been issued regarding all vessels avoiding the area and maintaining a safe distance from response operations. Mariners are encouraged to report any stray oil to the National Response Center at (800) 424-8892. For further information on these advisories, contact MSU Houma officer-of-the-day at (985) 665-2437.
The Louisiana Department of Health warned residents participating in recreational activities in Terrebonne Bay, Louisiana and the Lake Pelto area to be cautious after the spill.
On Wednesday, Aug. 10, LDH issued a public health notice due to the oil spill.
State health officials say people engaging in recreational activities in the Terrebonne Bay and Lake Pelto area need to be aware of the oil spill and take the following precautions:
- Do not go into areas restricted by the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Avoid entering areas where oil can be seen or smelled. If you see or smell oil, leave the area right away.
- Do not fish in areas with visible oil sheens or slicks. The most prudent action is not to consume dead fish, fish with oily residue or a petroleum odor and fish harvested directly from the oil spill-affected waters.
- Avoid direct skin contact with oil, oil-contaminated water (for example: swimming, skiing, recreational boating) and sediments (for example: hoisting your anchor). If you get oil on your skin, wash it off with soap and water.
- Do not drive your vessel through slicks or sheens.
- Young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying respiratory conditions should avoid the area.
- Restrict pets from entering oil-contaminated areas.
- Prevent heat stress: drink lots of water; wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing and a hat; and avoid alcoholic beverages.
The Louisiana Department of Health also closed some state molluscan shellfish growing, which went into effect at sunset on Wednesday, August 10.
Leaders say the closure is precautionary due to the oil spill potentially affecting the health of oysters in a portion of molluscan shellfish growing area.
The precautionary closure area begins near the westernmost point of Island Timbalier (29.091010, -90.5463749), north to area in Terrebonne Bay (29.151418, -09.542077), east to point in Terrebonne Bay (29.148752, -90.437533), south to point east of Island Timbalier (29.063749, -90.439645), west to a point on Island Timbalier (29.064988, -90.471460), west-northwest to starting point on Island Timbalier (29.091010, -90.546927).
Click here to view the closure order, signed by State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter and LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips.
More information about LDH’s Molluscan Shellfish Program can be found here.
Clean up of the oil spill and environmental monitoring will continue.
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