Unified Command responds to oil discharge on Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Orange

Published 8:09 am Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Restrictions on vessel traffic on Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Orange went into effect at 6 p.m. Monday and are in place until further notice.

The restrictions have been communicated to mariners, and the Coast Guard will reassess restrictions following the commencement of repair work following response to oil discharge in waterway.

A Unified Command composed of the Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Shell Pipeline Company LP is responding to a crude oil discharge that occurred on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway near Mile Marker 260.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur personnel received a notification at 12:12 p.m. April 26 from the National Response Center.

Crude oil was discharged into a marsh area on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from a 22-inch transmission pipeline.

Shell personnel estimated 30 barrels or 1,260 gallons of crude oil was released into the water.

The pipeline was shut in on April 25 with no additional visible discharge.

Personnel with Environmental Safety & Health Consulting Services, the oil spill removal organization hired by Shell, deployed 5,900 feet of containment boom and sorbent boom and are using one drum skimmer and four response vessels to remove discharged oil.

Approximately 19 barrels (798 gallons) have been recovered to date according to a Monday release.

Low-pressure flushing is being utilized to remediate the affected shoreline along the banks of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Drone evaluations and on-water assessments will continue to closely monitor the situation. There have been no reports of impacted wildlife.

The cause of the spill is under investigation. The Unified Command is working in coordination with local partners to ensure the safety of the public and protect the environment.

Mariners are encouraged to report any observations of oil to Vessel Traffic Services or MSU Port Arthur’s Command Duty Officer at 409-284-5767.