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Coastal Desk

Coast Guard Overseeing 'Pink Sludge' Cleanup In 17th Street Canal

Pink, oily sludge passed beneath a bridge over. the 17th Street Canal on Tuesday.
John Lopez
Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
Pink, oily sludge passed beneath a bridge over. the 17th Street Canal on Tuesday.

Local, state and national agencies are responding to an oil-related incident in Jefferson Parish over the weekend.

Pink sludge was found in the 17th Street Canal and it’s not yet public knowledge how it got there.

The Coast Guard is overseeing the cleanup, which is ongoing. It says 900 gallons of waste lubricant came from Delta Petroleum. The company’s website says it blends and packs lubricants and oils.

A company spokesman says it notified state police, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the East Jefferson Levee District on Sunday.

It has hired OMI Environmental Solutions, an oil spill response organization, to clean it up.

John Lopez, with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, says the spill appeared contained. He’s not worried about oily stuff getting into the lake, but says it seems unusual that a spill like this would happen in this area.

“You don’t usually expect even these accidental -- or maybe illegal -- discharges to occur along these canals, which generally are not very industrialized,” says Lopez.

The Sewerage and Water Board says it has put out booms to prevent the oil from getting into its Drainage Pumping Station 6, nearby. 

Support for the coastal desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Coypu Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.

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