Efforts Underway To Clean Up Gulf Oil Spill

HOUSTON – Efforts are continuing toward the cleanup of the oil spilled when a pipe ruptured Sunday morning 30 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas.

The motor vessels Brutis and Ampol Recovery are on scene. The weather has calmed enough that at 7 a.m. today, cleanup crews were able to start skimming operations. They will continue skimming as long as the weather remains calm. The oil sheen is now 4.7 miles long and 80 yards wide at its widest, angling southwest but curving toward the southeast.

An estimated 42,500 gallons of oil has been leaked by the ruptured pipe, and it continues to leak at approximately 500 gallons per day, or 21 gallons per hour. The cause of the rupture is still under investigation.

The dive boat American Victory is now underway with the equipment necessary to seal the pipe, and will take four hours to transit to the site.

The environmental impact is expected to be minimal due to the season, said Andy Tirpak of Texas Parks and Wildlife. There is only a remote possibility of impact to spawning and other wildlife, as the oil is expected to dissipate quickly and leave no long-term effects.

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