An approximately 1.5-mile stretch of Bayou Teche between Jeanerette and Charenton will be closed to vessel traffic for at least a week while 12,558 gallons of crude oil, some of which leaked into the waterway, is cleaned from a nearby industrial site, the U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday.
The oil spilled from one tank and into a containment tank that had an open valve, said Lt. j.g. Lisa Siebert, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Morgan City.
Most of the crude spilled onto land at the facility, owned by PSC Industrial Outsourcing, but an unknown amount of oil seeped into the waterway, Siebert said Tuesday afternoon.
The amount of boom used in the cleanup increased from an estimated 200 feet on Tuesday morning to between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, according to an evening news release.
American Pollution Control Corp. deployed the boom, which are floating barriers that surround the oil and contain it, the release states.
The Coast Guard office also said “air monitoring is being conducted at the spill site and a roving patrol is conducting air monitoring in the local community.”
Siebert said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took over the cleanup’s supervisory role at 5 p.m. Tuesday because most of the contaminated area is on land at the industrial facility.
An EPA spokesperson said Tuesday some personnel were headed to the scene but did not immediately have further information about the cleanup process.
A Houston-based spokesperson with PSC Industrial Outsourcing did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment.
The affected area began near the St. Mary Sugar Co-op and extended for about 3 miles, to 1 mile east of the Adeline Bridge, said Traci Landry, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.
State Police’s Hazardous Material Unit around 8 a.m. Tuesday lifted a shelter-in-place advisory for residents living along either side of the bayou near the spill and re-opened a portion of La. 87 that had been closed while responders worked the scene.
The Sheriff’s Office had issued the advisory around 7:30 p.m. Monday to residents living near the affected area along La. 87 and La. 182. The water pollution had first been reported to the Sheriff’s Office about 5:30 p.m., Landry said.
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