May 30, 2011 12:02 AM by Chris Welty

Oil Spill Seeping into Crowley Waterways 10PM

In Acadia Parish, crews are working to clean up an oil spill in Crowley.

The oil began spilling Saturday from an oil storage tank near the intersection of West Mill Street and South Western Avenue, and that oil has made it's way into nearby Bayou Blanc.

"We are trying to figure out why nothing has been done," said Patrick Miller a concerned resident.

Residents along Bayou Blanc are outraged. Saturday afternoon neighbors noticed a sheen to the water and a telltale smell in the air.

"It smelled like oil. There's no oil field around here and there's no tanks that we know of so to see that in our backyard. It's out of the ordinary," said Miller.

Less than one mile away, a storage tank is leaking oil into drainage canals that connect into Bayou Blanc and beyond the Crowley city limits to the Roller Road bridge.

Miller believes the oil could end up in other bodies of water if boom isn't set up soon. "This actually ends up going to Bayou Plaquemine which then connects to the Mermentau River, and then the Gulf of Mexico. It's a pretty bad oil spill."

The oil is so thick that when you stir it with a stick, it doesn't break up very much and it cakes onto the stick. This is something that concerns residents.

"We've got wood ducks and birds, fish, and everything else. with oil on top of that, they can't breathe and they are going to start dieing. it's just not a good thing," said Miller.

It's unknown how much oil actually spilled, but the Department of Environmental Quality is planning on testing the air and water, as well as laying boom to prevent the oil from spreading any further. Investigators from the Environmental Protection Agency are in Crowley and are working with the party possibly responsible for the spill to begin clean-up.

"I think now they are starting to wake up and realize hey we need to do something and contain it as fast as we can to get it cleaned up."

A clean up process that residents wish could have started sooner.

If you do see oil, the D.E.Q. advises that you do not touch it and to call law enforcement or the DEQ offices immediately.

Chris Welty



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