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EPA expands boundary around affected homes in Murphy Oil spill area

Release Date: 12/5/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

Contact: Lisa Fasano at 504-731-8627

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this weekend expanded the northeastern boundary around homes potentially oiled by the Murphy Oil Spill in St. Bernard Parish.

     The expanded boundary adds approximately 70 homes to the area of potentially affected residences.  The revised area includes the northern end of Jacob to Lena streets up to the Forty Arpent Canal.

     "The boundary lines are not absolutes," said Scott Harris, Ph.D., EPA group supervisor for the Murphy Oil Incident.  "We continue to do visual assessments and sampling, so the boundaries are subject to change."

     The boundary change came after a resident called the agency to report their home appeared to be oiled, but according to Murphy Oil was not listed within the affected perimeter.

     On Friday, EPA, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Murphy Oil and Parish Officials visited the northern neighborhood and visually inspected the area looking for evidence of oil in yards or an oil line on homes.  Based on that assessment the EPA extended the boundary to include the additional residences.    

     EPA officials continue to oversee Murphy Oil's investigation and clean up of the oil spill area.

     Approximately 1,800 residences and an undetermined number of other buildings were affected by the Murphy Oil spill.  A partially filled 250,000 barrel storage tank was reportedly lifted off its foundation by floodwaters and shifted over several feet damaging the tank and releasing over one million gallons of oil into floodwaters.  The oily floodwaters flowed into adjacent canals and the surrounding neighborhoods.