An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that happened nearly 15 years ago is now said to be worse than previously thought and it’s still going.
The leak from a rig about 12 miles off the Louisiana coast, happened in September 2004 and got little public attention, but that’s about to change. A new federal study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a rig is steadily leaking as much as 4,500 gallons a day, not three or four gallons per day as the rig owner claimed.
Taylor Energy Company, the former rig owner, which sold its assets in 2008, is fighting a federal order to stop the leak. The company says the leaking has been slight and that oil plumes from the sea floor are from oil-soaked sediment that has formed around the platform.
The NOAA study contradicts those statements.
The Taylor spill started when an oil platform was damaged and sank during a mudslide caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004. However, it wasn’t until 2010, after the BP oil spill, that people really started to notice something was wrong. According to local activists, the warnings didn’t come from the Coast Guard, the government, or any oil company. They came from those in the Gulf community who saw it with their own eyes.