East Wax Lake Spill Unified Command to conduct in-situ burn

Gulf Strike Team patchMORGAN CITY, La. – The East Wax Lake Spill Unified Command will be conducting an in-situ burn on a section of marsh affected by 1,050 gallons of oil near Belle Isle, St. Mary’s Parish, July 25.

In-situ burning is the process of burning oil on the water. Any burn operation includes careful air monitoring to ensure smoke or residue resulting from the burn does not adversely impact people or wildlife.

The spill originated from a submerged pipeline, owned by Texas Petroleum Investment Company, and discharged a 1,050-gallon mixture of crude oil and produced water into a privately owned floating marsh, July 14, 2015.

A unified command comprised of the Coast Guard, Texas Petroleum Investment Company, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality was formed to respond to the spill.

Initial cleanup efforts focused on cutting and raking dead vegetation and using sorbent materials. While some oil and oiled vegetation has been recovered, the methods have not proven to be effective.

In-situ burning was discussed by the Unified Command and was determined to be the most effective method of removal. T&T Salvage, a recognized marine fire-fighting company, will be brought in to plan, manage, and conduct the burn. Technical advice will be provided by Mr. Chris LeRouge, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Fire Ecologist.

The Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team will be on-hand to conduct air monitoring.

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