Barataria Waterway Wellhead is Secured

NEW ORLEANS – The Unified Command Post at U.S. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, is reporting that the Barataria Waterway wellhead that was damaged on Tuesday was secured at 6:05 p.m. Sunday and is no longer emitting oil or natural gas into Barataria Bay. The wellhead is also equipped with a light. The Unified Command Post will begin an assessment of potential shoreline impact Monday.

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to work with the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office LOSCO, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources LDNR, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality LDEQ, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries LAWLF, the Louisiana State Police LSP, and Jefferson Parish Emergency Services to minimize environmental damage resulting from the allision between a tow vessel and a wellhead in the Barataria Waterway, which occurred at approximately 1 a.m., Tuesday.

“The Unified Command was able to accomplish this in less than a week due to the fantastic cooperation between the federal, state and local officials and efforts of the contractors,” stated Capt. John Arenstam, the Coast Guard Federal On Scene Coordinator.

Oil containment and clean-up operations are ongoing as 60,200 feet of containment boom and 14,080 feet of sorbent boom are deployed to minimize the environmental impact. Additionally, 213 personnel and a combination of 47 skimmers, boats and barges are responding to the incident. Oil skimming and recovery operations are ongoing in Mud Lake. Approximately 35 barrels, or 1,470 gallons of oily-water mix, have been recovered and a two-mile safety zone remains in effect around the incident location to protect vessels and mariners from the hazards associated with the release.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund has been enacted to provide monetary support for the clean up and recovery operations.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

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