Each year, at least 300,000 barrels of oil are spilled on Louisiana soil and in its water, but reliance on industry self-reporting may set that number unrealistically low, NPR reported.
Jonathan Henderson of the Gulf Restoration Network looks for oil spills along the Louisiana coast from the air. The coastal area is home to 54,000 wells, each connected by thousands of miles of leak-prone pipeline. Henderson said that many small leaks aren’t reported as mandated by the Clean Water Act. In the last year, he identified 50 unreported leaks that were unrelated to the BP oil spill.
Oil spilled in Louisiana accounts for 20 percent of the United States’ total. The state contains 300,000 oil wells.