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Coast Guard monitoring oil spill cleanup in Louisiana

August 4, 2022 GMT

PLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) — The Coast Guard was monitoring an oil spill cleanup on Thursday, four days after it poured into a Louisiana swamp southwest of Baton Rouge.

An estimated 4,000 gallons (15,141 liters) of oil spilled Sunday while WCC Energy Group LLC was piping oil from wellheads into a barge tank used for storage, Coast Guard spokesman Riley Perkofski said in emails.

A call to WCC Energy Group’s office was not immediately returned.

The Coast Guard has not received any reports of oiled wildlife, and the spill’s cause is being investigated, a news release said.

The spill occurred near Bayou Sorrel in Iberville Parish, at a site about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Baton Rouge, Perkofski said.

The company stopped the spill and hired a cleanup company, the news release said. It said OMI Environmental Solutions has put oil-absorbing boom around the spill, with a skimmer and absorbent materials inside it to recover oil.

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Federal regulations classify a 4,000-gallon spill as medium sized.

Bayou Sorrel became notorious in Louisiana after fumes at a hazardous waste dump, also about 20 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, killed a 19-year-old trucker. Kirtley Jackson’s death prompted the legislature to pass Louisiana’s first hazardous waste law in 1978. The 265-acre (107 hectare) dump was cleaned up as a Superfund site, and was taken off the Superfund list in 1997.