Wildlife officials have found more than 100 birds covered in oil after Hurricane Ida caused a spill at a refinery

·2 min read
LDWF personnel triage an oiled tricolored heron recovered at the Alliance Refinery oil spill.
LDWF personnel triage an oiled tri-colored heron recovered at the Alliance Refinery oil spill. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
  • Hurricane Ida tore through Louisiana late last month, causing an oil spill at a refinery.

  • Wildlife officials have found more than 100 birds covered in oil near the site.

  • Officials have said they are investigating hundreds of potential spill sites after the storm.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

More than 100 birds have been found covered in oil after Hurricane Ida tore through Louisiana and caused a spill, wildlife officials said.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) said the birds were oiled from a spill that occurred at the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

Officials said they have located birds "within heavy pockets of crude oil" at the refinery as well as nearby retention ponds and flooded fields. They expect to find even more birds affected by the spill.

An oiled tricolored heron observed at the Alliance Refinery oil spill.
An oiled tri-colored heron observed at the Alliance Refinery oil spill. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

"Some of the oiled birds have been captured and transported to a designated rehabilitation location," LDWF said in a statement. "It may take weeks before the effort to save the birds and other animals is completed."

Some of the species found with oil were black-bellied whistling ducks, blue-winged teal, and various egret species.

In addition to birds, alligators, river otters, and nutria - large, semi-aquatic rodents - have been found with some oiling.

The US Coast Guard said earlier this week it is investigating 350 reported incidents pertaining to oil spills in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Coast Guard crews have been visiting sites to "conduct hazard assessments in order to identify and prioritize threats to the environment and navigable waterways."

An egret that has been oiled at the Alliance Refinery oil spill site.
An egret that has been oiled at the Alliance Refinery oil spill site. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

The Environmental Protection Agency said it received 43 reports of "significant inland oil spills and chemical releases in its jurisdiction after Ida," according to The Associated Press.

AP first reported the oil spill at Alliance Refinery alongside aerial photos on September 1.

Phillips 66 did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the spill.

AP said the company tried to downplay the spill in the days after it occurred, but after inquiries from AP said they "discovered a sheen of unknown origin in some flooded areas" at the refinery. The company told the outlet Thursday that the "site was isolated and brought under control last week."

The amount of oil spilled has not yet been officially reported, according to AP.

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