2TheAdvocate.com | Louisiana often leads U.S. oil spill list (HT, NolaDishu)
… Aging infrastructure and the volume of oil either produced or moved through Louisiana is part of the reason the state saw an average 1,500 reported oil spills a year between 1991 through 2004. That’s about four reported oil spills a day, most of which go unnoticed by the public.
Between 1991 and 2004, reported oil spills in Louisiana involved between 91,000 gallons and 701,000 gallons a year. In percentages, Louisiana accounted for between 5.8 percent and 53.6 percent of the reported oil spill volume in the United States, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator“s Office. Those are the spills reported in state waters and don’t account for reported spills in federal waters. In Louisiana, federal waters begin three miles from the coast.
… Another contributing factor to oil spills is coastal erosion. In Louisiana, 22 square miles of the coastline are lost to erosion each year. As the land is lost, oil pipelines, old oil equipment and some old oil waste pits become exposed, he said. Every time there’s a storm, we have leaks, [Roland Guidry, oil spill coordinator with the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator“s Office] said.
… During hurricanes Katrina and Rita, numerous large and small oil spills occurred along the coast. A preliminary count from the two storms is 464, but [Karolien Debusschere, deputy coordinator with the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator“s Office] cautioned that those report numbers remain under review and could change.
… the spills ranged from tiny to 90,000 barrels. It was worse (than expected.) We didn“t expect that kind of surge, Guidry said of Hurricane Katrina. The storm surge moved tanks with tens of thousands of barrels of oil and floated them away, he said. That’s power. That’s power, he said.
… Louisiana, they have their oil spill response down pretty well, [Dean Blanchard, habitat enhancement coordinator with the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program in Thibodaux] said. They clean up efficiently and pretty quickly. Blanchard said the office doesn’t get calls from the public concerned about oil spills.
… But that could change, [Jill Mastrototaro, Sierra Club senior regional representative for the northern Gulf of Mexico] said.