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Renee Blanchard's picture

This blog was written by Marylee Or, Executive Director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network.

This week I was part of a big group of concerned Gulf Coast residents who put an oil polluter on notice. After the BP oil disaster began to hit our shores last summer, we’ve paid more attention to the Coast Guard’s oil spill reports. Not too long ago we noticed that we kept seeing one area was popping up over and over again. With some research through years of NRC reports, flyovers, and satellite image readings, we realized this was a chronic oil spill. Turns out this rig has been leaking since at least 2006, probably consistently since Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

My question is: how on earth can an oil rig leak oil into such an important waterbody for six years and not be fixed? Or at least not be all over the news?

There are laws and agencies and people in charge of making sure the oil industry doesn’t harm our economy, our communities, and our environment. But it seems those safeguards have been MIA for a quite a while.

Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance, Galveston Baykeeper, Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, Louisiana Bayoukeeper and Emerald Coastkeeper filed an intent to sue to the oil polluters who own and operate this rig. The rig is formally called Platform 23051 and is located 11 miles off the shore of Louisiana, the place I’ve always called home.

Last week my son Paul was part of seven Waterkeeper organizations that released a report called State of the Gulf. In that report it is estimated that over 3,000 oil spills have occurred since the BP oil disaster. There is no question that the oil industry has an oil spill problem that needs solutions. They can start by fixing this Clean Water Act violating rig immediately.

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