Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation monitoring platform for environmental impact

Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation monitoring platform for environmental impact

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - As the search continues for a missing oil worker in Lake Pontchartrain, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has begun an environmental assessment.

The foundation is one of the primary agencies is responsible for the health of the lake, and Tuesday afternoon chief scientist John Lopez set out to see firsthand the impacts of Sunday night's gas platform explosion and fire.

"About 60 percent of the lake shoreline is sensitive to oil - it's basically wetlands," Lopez said.

As the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office searches for one missing worker, Lopez pulled in within a half mile of the charred platform. While the lake was choppy, his initial assessment was that there was little oil to be seen.

"I'm not seeing anything. It's not surprising," he said.

The basin foundation said it will be conducting more tests when conditions warrant, but while visiting the Clovelly platform Lopez noticed other obstructions like hazards to boating activities.

"There are no pipes or wells, but there's no markings," Lopez said. "These structures should have a light on them so nobody hits them at night."

For now the waters around the shutdown well look clear, but there are more tests to come.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and the East Jefferson Levee District continue to look for missing oil worker Tim Morrison of Katy, TX. Seven other people were injured in the explosion and hospitalized. At last check, three remained critical.

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