More than 90 oil and gas releases reported in SE Louisiana

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 6 at 7:01 PM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

GRAMERCY, La.-- More than a week after Hurricane Isaac came through, Thorne Brown needs rain boots to get around his home in St. James Parish -- not just because of standing water, but because of what is in the water, too.

Like others in his Gramercy neighborhood, Brown evacuated for the storm. When he returned, though, he found an oily mess across his property.

"It's too much oil to come from a vehicle," he said.

Neighbors say as the oily water receded, it left behind a brown line near the ditch. What concerns them the most, they say, is that they had no idea where the oil came from.

"Nothing but oil and water," said Joseph Dueney, whose property also showed signs of oiling.

That was not the only place where oil appeared after Hurricane Isaac.

"We've seen a lot of hard-hit infrastructure that's leaking into the surrounding wetlands," said Aaron Viles of the Gulf Restoration Network. The group took an aerial tour, photographing sheen in wetlands, as well as damaged oil infrastructure tanks.

The National Response Center received more than 90 reports of oil and gas releases. Those amounted to nearly 5 million pounds of pollution and at least 171,000 gallons of oil released across Southeast Louisiana in the wake of Isaac.

"The point of the map is to show that in every single sector, from exploration to transport to refining, the oil industry had a problem during Isaac," said Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

On Thursday, several environmental groups released the compiled findings and urged state and federal agencies to do more.

"We need to have regulators step up and raising the bar and holding these polluters and industry accountable for their actions," said the Sierra Club's Jill Mastrototaro.

Back in Gramercy, Thorne Brown worries about the oil on his property.

"I know it causes a lot of health concerns and I've got small kids," he said.

For a look at where the more than 90 oil and gas releases occurred after Hurricane Isaac, click here.

 

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