Divers at the site of an ongoing oil spill that appeared in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida have identified the apparent source. It is a one-foot diameter pipeline displaced from a trench on the ocean floor. The U.S. Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies work to identify the owner of the ruptured pipeline. Two additional 4-inch pipelines were also identified in the area that are open and apparently abandoned. The larger slick of oil in the area is more than a dozen miles (more than 19 kilometers) eastward along the Gulf coast. There is not yet any estimate for how much oil is in the water. It has not impacted at this time the Louisiana shoreline. Experts say the spill is far enough away for now to avoid major harm.
The seafood industry brings in billions in the Gulf region.The area where the spill is located has been drilled for oil and gas for decades. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. John Edwards said response teams are monitoring reports and satellite imagery to determine the scope of the discharge. Clean Gulf Associates, a nonprofit oil-spill response cooperative that works with the energy exploration and production industry, responded to the scene a few days ago but the cleaning operation is difficult. The Coast Guard says it has multiple teams working to determine the extent of the pollution.