Coast Guard: Abandoned Pipe Leaks Oil in Southeast Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Cleanup was underway Tuesday on an oil spill caused by a leak from an abandoned pipeline in southeast Louisiana waters.

The Coast Guard says the leak happened in an abandoned pipeline near marshland along Lake Grand Ecaille. The area of coastal marshes and open water is about 60 miles southeast of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish.

Hilcorp Energy of Houston owns the line. Spokesman Justin Furnace said in an email that the leak was stopped and contained and cleanup has begun. The company estimates that anywhere from 1,260 gallons to 4,200 gallons leaked. The leak was reported Monday.

Cleanup began despite storms that battered parts of Louisiana’s coast.

“The release has been contained, and despite inclement weather in the area slowing down efforts cleanup is underway,” state police Sgt. Jared Sandifer, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said in an email.

The Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office is part of the department. That office said oil leaked from a malfunctioning valve. The cause of the malfunction was under investigation. Furnace said it was too early to speculate on the spill’s cause.

The Coast Guard was overseeing the response along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, the Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

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