The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) was responding Wednesday afternoon to a report of oil in Breton Sound near Venice, LA. The spill was said to be several miles long, but it was not known if it was oil.
The USCG and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) were investigating the incident and the source of an "oily substance" reported had not been determined at press time.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received an alert from a fisherman about 7 a.m. Wednesday, reporting an oily substance two miles southeast of Baptiste Collette Pass.
USCG deployed four pollution investigators to the scene to obtain samples, which were to be sent to a lab for testing. Additionally, an MH-65C helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans with one pollution investigator had been deployed to conduct an aerial assessment.
The USCG has opened and is using the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in order to begin mobilizing assets to quickly address the situation and Capt. Edwin Stanton, commanding officer of Sector New Orleans, has assumed the duties of federal on-scene coordinator.
Oil Mop has been hired as the oil spill response organization that will conduct any necessary clean-up operations and has deployed three barge boats, two work boats and a containment boom trailer, which were en route to Venice, USCG said.
USCG said it was working with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, BOEM and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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