Name: DeAngelo Dopson

State: District of Columbia
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Age: 33

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  Title: current events
Sep 16, 2005 - 12:03 pm
Posted By: DeAngelo

Updated: 10:33 a.m. ET Sept. 16, 2005
More than 500 cleanup specialists are working to contain 44 oil spills ranging from several hundred gallons to nearly 4 million gallons, the U.S. Coast Guard said in an assessment that goes far beyond initial reports of just two significant spills.

The assessment comes nearly three weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, and reflects the fact that the Coast Guard and other agencies are able to only now tackle environmental problems since the search and rescue effort is winding down.

The Coast Guard estimates more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled from industrial plants, storage depots and other facilities around southeast Louisiana.

That is about two-thirds as much oil as spilled from the Exxon Valdez tanker in 1989. But unlike the oil from the Valdez, which poured from a single source, these oil spills are scattered at sites throughout southeast Louisiana.

The oil could threaten the region?s fragile coastal marshes, but three-quarters of it was not posing a danger to wetlands, the Coast Guard said, noting that more than 1.3 million gallons had evaporated or dispersed.

Crews had recovered nearly 2 million gallons and had contained another 2.3 million gallons behind booms and other barriers, the Coast Guard said.

The state's Department of Environmental Quality had previously reported just two significant spills, one in Meraux and another in Venice.

Below are the largest known spills, most of them along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans.

Major spills  (over 100,000 gallons)
Bass Enterprises Production Company (Cox Bay): About 3.78 million gallons discharged, of which 960,000 gallons were recovered, 2 million gallons were contained and 982,000 gallons evaporated.

Shell (Pilot Town): About 1.05 million gallons discharged, of which about 718,000 gallons were recovered, 129,000 were contained and 105,000 gallons evaporated or dispersed. Some 87,000 gallons have not been contained.  

Chevron (Empire): About 991,000 gallons were released, of which 983,000 gallons were naturally dispersed or evaporated, 4,000 gallons were recovered and 3,600 gallons were contained.

Murphy Oil Corporation (Meraux): About 819,000 gallons discharged, of which 305,000 were recovered, 196,000 gallons were contained and 312,000 gallons evaporated. Some 6,000 gallons were not recovered.

Bass Enterprises (Point a la Hache): About 461,000 gallons of oil discharged, of which half was contained and half evaporated.

Medium spills (10,000 to 100,000 gallons)
Chevron (Port Fourchon): About 53,000 gallons were released, of which 21,000 gallons were naturally dispersed, 26,000 gallons were recovered and 420 gallons were contained.

Venice Energy Services Company (Venice): About 840,000 gallons of potential discharge are enclosed in bermed and boomed area, but only 25,000 gallons were actually discharged, of which 4,800 gallons were recovered.

Shell Pipeline Oil (Nairn): About 13,440 gallons discharged, of which 126 gallons were recovered, 2,940 gallons were contained and 10,500 gallons reached shoreline.

Sundown Energy (West Potash): About 13,000 gallons discharged, of which 153 gallons were recovered, 2,000 gallons were contained, and 5,000 gallons reached shoreline.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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