Controlled burn slated for 11 a.m. today on Delta National Wildlife Refuge

USFWS and Coast Guard addressing 50-barrel oil spill, Octave Pass to be temporarily closed

After an aerial flight on May 28 revealed an oil spill on the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, authorities are conducting a controlled burn in the marsh today about 11 a.m. to  remove the contaminated oil.

According to a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the source of the oil spill was a breach in a bulk line under the marsh.

Texas Petroleum Investment was identified as the responsible party, and is working with USFWS, the U.S. Coast Guard, Forefront Emergency Management and the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator Office to mitigate the spill, the release states.

The impacted area, about 10 miles southeast of Venice in Plaquemines Parish, is a 10-acre section of freshwater marsh in a remote section of the refuge accessible by flat-bottomed boat.

The controlled burn is expected to significantly reduce the amount of oil in the marsh, accelerate clean-up and minimize the effect of the oil and habitat impact in the marsh, according to the release.

Octave Pass will be temporarily closed while the burn is conducted, and additional clean-up efforts will be conducted after the burn to remove any remaining contamination and allow the marsh to recover, the release states.

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