NEW ORLEANS - The Coast Guard, the State of Louisiana and the Chevron Pipe Line Company are responding to an oil spill from a pipeline in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

At approximately 1 a.m. today (April 6), Berry Brothers General Contractors notified the Coast Guard that oil was discharging into a canal located about 10 miles southeast of Venice. Chevron, which operates the pipeline, reports that approximately 18,000 gallons of crude oil has been released.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and Chevron Pipe Line Company are working to minimize the environmental impact of the spill.

The Coast Guard deployed pollution investigators in an HC-144A Ocean Sentry Aircraft to evaluate the spill. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Coast Guard have pollution investigators in response boats on scene assessing the oil's impact and monitoring clean-up efforts.

Upon receiving the initial report of the spill, CPL immediately closed off the affected section of the pipeline and has initiated its emergency response procedures to minimize the environmental impact of the spill.  Specially trained company personnel and contractors are responding as part of a comprehensive program to minimize environmental impact.  The pipeline is owned by Cypress Pipe Line Company which is a joint venture between British Petroleum and CPL.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the spill.