Eugene Island pipeline clean up nears completion

NEW ORLEANS — The Unified Command for the Eugene Island Pipeline spill announces that cleanup operations are nearing completion. Over flights this morning revealed that skimming had reduced the remaining oil to several 6-foot wide streamers approximately a quarter-mile long. Skimming will continue until the streamers have been collected. The recovered oil is being loaded onto a barge located in Fourchon, La., for disposal.

The Unified Command has notified nearby parish and local officials that the remaining oil poses no threat to the coast. Recovery operations are taking place approximately 15 miles off shore, and should conclude this weekend.

The Unified Command consists of members from Shell, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Minerals Management Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Shell’s Incident Commander, Tommy Hutto, stated that he is “well satisfied with the progress of the clean up, and grateful for the excellent assistance and cooperation of the members of the Unified Command as well as the Parish and Local governments.”

Coast Guard Capt. Joseph Paradis, federal on-scene commander for the Unified Command, indicated that he was “pleased by the close cooperation shown by all of the organizations involved in the response.”

The Eugene Island Pipeline system will be restarted following repairs and a thorough inspection. Top priorities during the response and restart phases are safety and the protection of the environment.

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