Cleanup of oil leak in Delta Wildlife Refuge begins Tuesday

Federal and state officials will burn an area of the Delta National Wildlife Refuge Tuesday that was contaminated by a 2,100 gallon crude oil leak discovered Wednesday.

The source of the spill was a breach in a bulk oil line buried underneath the marsh. Texas Petroleum Investment Co. was identified as the responsible party, according to a news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The breach has been repaired, and the line will not be used for future production.

About 10 acres of freshwater marsh in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, located southeast of Venice in Plaquemines Parish, was impacted by the oil.

Access to the site is limited to flat-bottom boats, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed with a decision to burn the area to remove the oil.

“The controlled burn is expected to significantly reduce the amount of oil in the marsh, accelerate clean-up operations, and minimize the effect of both oil and habitat impacts to the marsh,” according to the new release.

During the burn, Octave Pass will be closed to mariners and will be reopened when the burn is complete. Air monitoring will be conducted during the burn, which will be followed by additional cleanup.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, Texas Petroleum Investment Company, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator Office and Forefront Emergency Management are working on the response.