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More than 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel spill into waters near New Orleans

Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A corroding pipeline near New Orleans cracked or broke open at some point in the last couple of years and spilled more than 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel into two ponds, killing large numbers of wildlife, federal officials say.

Officials believe that the fuel leak has been occurring for some time. It was first discovered late last month -- and an inspection in October 2020 found external corrosion of the pipe in the area where the leak occurred, according to federal records.

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It's unknown exactly how long the pipeline had been leaking. The owner of the line spent $500,000 to fix the leaky section of pipe after it was found on Dec. 27.

Fish, birds and other wildlife died due to the fuel spill, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Department spokesman Robert Trye Iles said almost 130 of the animals -- including dozens of alligators, birds, snakes and turtles -- were captured and are being rehabilitated.

Official said the spill was found near a levee in St. Bernard Parish, just east of downtown New Orleans.

Documents from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration say that the spill originated from a 16-inch-diameter pipeline operated by Collins Pipeline Co.

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