Over 100 Oil-soaked Birds Discovered off Louisiana’s Coast After an Oil Spill Prompted by Ida’s Flooding

Nature

Over 100 birds soaked with oil have been discovered in Hurricane Ida’s aftermath. Ida prompted a flood in a refinery which led to spillage of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

An oil-soaked bird

(Photo : Getty Images)

Oil-soaked Birds 

The number of oiled birds has been increasingly noticed within heavy pockets of oil all over the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery located in Belle Chasse, and also close to flooded fields and wet ponds along the Mississippi River, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said. 

A biologist in charge of the state restoration program whose name is Jon Wiebe, said 10 oiled-birds have been caught and conveyed to a location for rehabilitation so they can be cleaned. 

Wiebe said five more lifeless birds were founded and kept as evidence, noting the efforts to catch and rescue more birds are still in progress. 

The species that were affected are blue-winged teal, black-bellied whistling ducks, and a variety of egrets. Other animals like nutria, alligators, and river otters were also found covered in oil.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a summary Thursday, and it said it had gotten 43 messages of remarkable inland oil spills and chemical discharges in its jurisdiction following Ida.  

Also Read: Worse than Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Abandoned Yemeni Tanker Can Wreck the Red Sea

Pollution

The compliance arm of the agency has issued about 10 requests to facility operators in search of information to know whether federal environmental laws were breached while the storm was occurring, possibly prompting punishments and fines.

That is not to be compared to the 1,539 reports of pollution which a U.S. Coast Guard hotline gets since the Category 4 storm prompted landfall on the 29th of August at the main port for the offshore oil and gas industry, Port Fourchon. 

On Thursday, the Coast Guard said it was seriously observing and directing the cleanup and alleviation efforts at 564 sites. There were another 197 reports that were listed as unconfirmed since there was no existing proof of pollution.

The Associated Press initially reported the oil spill at the Alliance Refinery on the 1st of September following the review of aerial images which a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration aircraft captured.

An oil-stained bird

(Photo : Getty Images)

Potential Environmental Hazards 

In the days following Ida, Phillips 66 often sought to underplay reports of ruins at the sprawling refinery of the company.

Questioned about reports of levee failures close to the refinery a day after the hurricane struck, the spokesman of Phillips 66 named Bernardo Fallas told AP the facility had ‘some water,’ stressing that operations were discontinued before the storm.

Questioned two days following the storm concerning potential environmental hazards coming from the facility, the spokesman referred a reporter to a statement on the company’s website saying its reply is concentrated “on ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees and our surrounding communities.”

Related Article: Syria’s Coast Covered in Oil Spill Following Major Leak in Power Plant

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