One of the New Orleans pumping stations is now leaking diesel fuel. The fuel is being leaked into the 17th Street Canal and is now washing up on the Jefferson Parish side of the canal.
Diesel fuel leaked into the 17th Street Canal on Tuesday night (Aug. 16), officials said. Jefferson Parish authorities said the fuel came from a New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board pumping station, but New Orleans authorities told WWL-TV that isn’t the case.
The Jefferson Parish Fire Department at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday said it was responding to a leak at 345 Orpheum Avenue (map) in the 17th Street Canal.
Pumping Station No. 6, which helps drain parts of Old Metairie and other Jefferson Parish neighborhoods, sits on the parish line on the 17th Street Canal. JPFD said the diesel came from the pumping station, but didn’t give any further details about the spill, how it happened, how much diesel was in the water or how it was being contained. (Update: Officials later said the source of the spill was unknown.)
New Orleans officials are denying the leak came from the pumping station. They claim the leak came from another source.
Assuming this leak did come from the pumping station, it would mean that Mitch Landrieu’s drainage problem has now become an environmental problem. The city is trying to work around the clock to fix the pumps, but this is just the latest in calamities that have impacted the city’s drainage.
The real problem is that New Orleans’s drainage system is suffering from neglected maintenance. The city has not been investing in keeping the system operational and working. That blame ultimately has to follow on Mitch Landrieu.
Citizens of New Orleans are becoming increasingly angry over this situation. They’re angry to the point that there will be a rally at noon Saturday at City Hall.
Landrieu should hope that this leak is not coming from the pumping station. The last thing he needs is his drainage problem turning into an environmental problem.