Updated Sep 8, 2021 - Energy & Environment

U.S. Coast Guard receives over 2,000 water pollution reports after Ida

Satellite image of oil spill

Photo: Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies.

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed Thursday it has assessed more than 800 of over 2,000 reports of pollution in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Nearly 350 of these have been reports of oil spills.

What's happening: The Coast Guard has established a pollution response team in Baton Rouge following the reports that have emerged since the Aug. 29 hurricane, which first made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph in Port Fourchon, Louisiana — a key oil industry hub and staging area.

By the numbers: The Coast Guard has received more than 2,113 reports of contamination and pollution in waterways since Ida struck, 826 of which have been assessed the Washington Post first reported.

  • The Coast Guard plans to follow up on each report.

The big picture: Roughly 88% of offshore oil production in the region was closed and over 100 platforms were still not being used on Tuesday, Reuters notes.

  • The Coast Guard has been conducting flyovers off the coast of southeastern Louisiana as part of its response to "multiple oil spills along Southeast Louisiana," per a statement Sunday.
  • Among the reports the Coast Guard is investigating is a large oil spill first detected last week in Bay Marchand, two miles south of Port Fourchon, which has since reduced in size after containment efforts.

Zoom in: Talos Energy, a Houston-based company that previously owned that pipeline, said after after hiring divers that an old broken pipeline was the likely source of the spill.

  • Talos, which also paid for cleanup crews, said in a statement it had ceased production operations in the area in 2017.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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