Bird’s Eye View: New Leak Discovered Today

This morning, I set out on another flyover to the Louisiana coast to assess and document impacts from BP’s disaster. While I was en route to the Mississippi rivers passes, I spotted a leak coming from a facility between California Bay and Quarantine Bay. The coordinates are N29.26 x W89.30. I have since reported this leak to the Louisiana State Police and the National Response Center. I also spoke with the Coast Guard Nation Response Command and emailed them photos. The leak appeared to be coming from a pipeline station and stretched for at least two miles. It was purple and blue in color. The facility also has a stack which was flaring some sort of gas, probably methane. Today’s discovery is the second leak in the last six months that I have found (and reported) whiles en route to asses our coastline. The first one was located near Empire, Louisiana in Adams Bay. While obviously nowhere near the size of the BP blowout, the secluded nature of the Adams Bay leak and today’s discovery are great cause for concern. How long would it have been before someone else reported either of these leaks and how much oil would have already seeped out into our bays and estuaries? I also flew over and documented the oil geyser that spewed oil gas into the air for several days near Lafitte. Recall, the tug boat operator whose vessel struck that well head immediately reported it, yet, it wasn’t capped until several days later. Had that operator not reported it and the well-head was not in a heavily traversed area, who knows s how long it could have been before it was found and dealt with. Clearly, we need more vigilance in safeguarding against these kinds of incidents. All the more reason for a Regional Citizen’s Advisory Council! Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for GRN.

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