UPDATE: The U.S. Coast Guard has tested a substance that has washed into the Gulf of Mexico and confirms that it does contain trace amounts of oil.
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – 9:30p.m. Update
According to the Coast Guard, they have collected samples from a dark substance floating on and beneath the surface of the water in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S.C.G. collected the samples as a response to a handful of reports of the substance, which some described as oil sheen, floating just a few miles off the coast of Grand Isle, Louisiana. One report suggested it stretched 100 miles out into the Gulf.
The samples were taken Saturday and the results showed that the dark substance did in fact contain petroleum hydrocarbons, oil and grease. The substance was analyzed using the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s standards for clean, which is less than 65 parts per million for petroleum and 10,000 parts per million for oil and grease. The results that came back on the oily substance showed around 8 parts per million for petroleum and 86 ppm for oil and grease.
The Coast Guard says that the dark substance is believed to be caused by sediment being carried down the Mississippi River following dredging operations and high water. However, the USCG says that the oily substance is not, at this time, suspected to be from the Deepwater Horizon spill site.
Some areas along the coast have seen impacts on the coastline, most in Lousiana. The Coast Guard has taken samples from those impacted areas.
The Coast Guard says that they have mobilized an Oil Spill response and started deploying absorbent boom in sensitive areas.