Waterkeepers file Taylor Oil Lawsuit
Waterkeeper Organizations File Suit to Plug Taylor Energy’s Gulf Oil Spill and Pry Open the Veil of Secrecy Surrounding 7 Years of Contamination Calls on Obama Administration to Require Stronger Safety Standards and More Transparency NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -- Waterkeeper Alliance and several Gulf Coast Waterkeeper organizations filed suit in Federal Court today, February 2, against Taylor Energy Company LLC under the citizen suit provisions of the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation Recovery Act, for ongoing violations stemming from an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that has continued to flow for more than seven years. Aided by satellite imagery and research conducted by SkyTruth and aerial observation by SouthWings, the Waterkeeper Alliance and its local Waterkeeper organizations learned that the spill, located approximately 11 miles off the coast of Louisiana, started after an undersea landslide in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. An offshore platform and 28 wells were damaged, and since then, Taylor has yet to stop the daily flow of oil from the site. Waterkeeper estimates that hundreds of gallons of oil have leaked from the site each day for the last 7 years.
Sky Truth's Site 23051 Cumulative Spill Report
Conclusion 1: Crude oil has been leaking continuously from this site for more than 7 years
Based on pollution reports which we presume were filed by the polluter, and satellite images showing a slick present during the periods when there were no reports filed, we conclude that oil has been leaking more or less continuously from the damaged subsurface wells at this site since the platform was destroyed on September 17, 2004, and continues leaking to this day.
Conclusion 2: Estimated total volume of crude oil spilled is between 251,677 and 1,174,492 gallons
We calculated the total volume of oil spilled under 4 different scenarios representing a range of possible values for each of our two key assumptions on thickness and the degradation rate of observed oil slicks on the surface of the ocean. Combining high and low values for each factor creates 4 possible scenarios. These four scenarios yield the following estimated total emissions for the period 2004 - 2011:
Scenario 1 1,174,492 gallons
Scenario 2 587,246 gallons
Scenario 3 503,354 gallons
Scenario 4 251,677 gallons