Parish president calls oil reaching marshes "worst fear"

By Doug Mouton - bio | email

PASS A LOUTRE, LA (WWL) - Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser calls it his worst nightmare.

Thick black oil has now reached the marshes of his parish. Nungesser and Gov. Bobby Jindal got a first-hand look at where the oil has washed up in the Pass a Loutre marsh.

"I'm sick to my stomach," Nungesser said. "It's our worst fear. As this moves inland, it'll destroy everything."

The marsh grass area, which is roughly a half-mile long, is filled with oil. Nungesser said there are six to eight other areas nearby just like it.

The substance now invading the coast is not the sheen that has been seen the past few days. It is thick oil and officials say getting it out of the marsh won't be easy.

In response to the local leaders' push to have barrier islands built, the Corps sent out a statement.

"That request is being processed under emergency permit procedures. We are currently evaluating all of this information for potential environmental impacts, as required under (the National Environmental Police Act)."

© 2009-2010 WWL-TV, Inc., a subsidiary of Belo Corp. All Rights Reserved.