The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday that it had dispatched a reconnaissance plane to an area hit hard by Hurricane Ada in Louisiana, which includes an oil refinery, and an obvious oil spill was reported in the area.
A spokesperson for the EPA told Reuters that the plane sent from Texas will collect data on the Phillips 66 refinery and other priority locations.
The spokesperson said: “EPA’s ASPECT aircraft-the agency’s onboard real-time chemical and radiological detection, infrared and photographic imaging platform-has been activated to support Louisiana.”
Phillips 66 earlier stated that there was a flood at its Alliance refinery, and an unknown source of luster was found in some flooded areas of the refinery.
The company said: “At this time, the gloss seems to have been fixed and contained in the refinery site. Cleanup personnel are on site. The incident has been reported to the corresponding regulatory agency after discovery.”
“The refinery is still undergoing a full post-storm assessment. The cause/source of the gloss will be investigated. The refinery is still closed,” it added.
After reviewing the aerial images of the disaster area taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, the Associated Press also reported a possible leak near an offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
These photos appear to show a mile of brown-black oil slick in the waters south of Port Fulchion, Louisiana.
The helipad of the drilling platform is marked Enterprise Offshore Drilling. Enterprise Offshore Drilling stated in a statement on its website that its drilling platform has not suffered any damage or malfunction and that “our facilities have not experienced environmental emissions.”
The U.S. Coast Guard told the Associated Press that another plane flew over the refinery and the Gulf of Mexico. Late Thursday, the Coast Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ada, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday and destroyed the entire community.