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Thousands of Animals Dead, Dozens of Alligators Sickened After Diesel Spill Near New Orleans

People logo People 1/14/2022 Natasha Dado

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A massive diesel spill discovered on Dec. 27 near New Orleans killed 2,300 fish and over 100 other animals.

According to CBS News, over 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled when a corroded pipeline ruptured. Most of the spilled toxins drained into two artificial ponds called borrow pits, which house various animals.

Robert "Trey" Iles, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told CBS News that statistics show that 39 snakes, 32 birds, a few eels and blue crabs were among the other animals killed by the spill.

The sickened animals captured from the ponds for rehabilitation include 72 alligators, 23 birds, 20 snakes, and 12 turtles, Iles added.

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The Associated Press noted the pipeline's operator, Collins Pipeline Company, shared an update on cleanup efforts, stating that 315,000 gallons of fuel have been removed, mainly from the ponds. The update added that the company is continuing its cleanup efforts.

According to CBS News, before it ruptured, the pipeline was inspected in October 2020. At the time, inspectors found that the section of pipe that would later rupture was corroded and needed immediate repairs. These repairs were delayed after a second inspection found that the corrosion wasn't advanced enough to require immediate repairs.

"It's especially maddening to learn that Collins Pipeline's initial analysis deemed the pipe in such poor condition that it warranted an immediate repair," Bill Caram with the Pipeline Safety Trust told the Associated Press.

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Collins Pipeline Company spent $500,000 repairing the ruptured line, and operations that were put on hold resumed Saturday, PBF Energy Inc Vice President, Michael Karlovich, told the AP in an email.

"Although we continue to remediate and monitor the area, on-water recovery operations have been completed," said Karlovich, adding that an environmental damage assessment is being conducted.

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