HOUSTON - Two environmental groups said on Monday soil samples from an area east of New Orleans hit by an oil spill during Hurricane Katrina last year show high levels of diesel and arsenic contamination.
A power pole and lines are reflected in the water, sewage and oil that cover a residential street in St. Bernard Parish north of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, September 10, 2005. Two environmental groups said on Monday soil samples from an area east of New Orleans hit by an oil spill during Hurricane Katrina last year show high levels of diesel and arsenic contamination. (Allen Fredrickson/Reuters)
Some 25,000 barrels of mixed crude oil spilled in St. Bernard Parish from a storage tank that floated off its base at Murphy Oil Corp.'s refinery in Meraux, Louisiana.
One-third of 53 soil samples in St. Bernard Parish showed diesel fuel content beyond state regulations, according the St. Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
Thirty percent of the samples show arsenic contamination beyond pre-Katrina levels found by the state in the area, the groups said.
"The question is why aren't the (U.S.Environmental
Protection Agency) and the (Louisiana) Department of
Environmental Quality doing anything about it," said Bucket
Brigade Director Anne Rolfes.
A Murphy Oil spokeswoman declined to discuss the groups' statement, citing pending lawsuits over the oil spill.
An EPA spokesperson was not available to comment.
© 2006 Reuters Ltd.