U.S. Water News Online
EL DORADO, Ark. -- Once thought mostly contained in Murphy
Oil property, aerial photographs confirm that a leak at the company's
flooded refinery in Meraux, La., is spreading into a nearby
The crude oil spill was discovered leaking from an 85,000-barrel
tank. The aerial photographs later showed it seeping through the
flood waters to the neighborhood west of the refinery, which is owned
and operated by El Dorado-based Murphy Oil.
Darin Mann, a spokesman from the Louisiana Department of
Environmental Quality said the leak was first seen during a DEQ
flyover, but state officials don't know how much oil has leaked out
or when cleanup can begin.
A contractor has been hired for cleanup, but hasn't been able to
get its equipment into the area because of the surrounding flooding.
The refinery was still surrounded by water, even though flood
waters in the rest of St. Bernard Parish, located east and southeast
of New Orleans, had generally receded.
Mann said Murphy Oil is responsible for the cleanup.
Limited accessibility is hampering efforts from spill responders,
who are on site trying to assess the damage, the company said. Much
of the area around the spill had already been evacuated, company
Each oil tank at the refinery is surrounded by a retaining wall to
keep the oil back in case of a spill, but at the time of the leak the
walls were filled with flood water, Murphy Oil spokesman Kevin
That retaining wall has since been repaired, the company said.
Murphy Oil officials notified the National Response Center, the U.S.
Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency about the spill.
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