Sunday, 9 April 2017
Gas leak creating a "dead zone" of unknown expanse and highly toxic to marine life, including beluga whales has been been bubbling away for 10 days in Alaska's Cook Inlet
The company estimates the pipeline is emitting 210,000 to 310,000 cubic feet of gas per day.
Hilcorp hired a diving company to assess damage when the leak was discovered, the state agency said.
Diving was determined to be unsafe because of ice in the inlet.
Environmental groups say the gas leak will harm the inlet.
Kristen Monsell, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said natural gas spills are highly toxic to marine life, including the prey needed by beluga whales.
Cook Inletkeeper, a nonprofit group dedicated to protecting the Cook Inlet watershed, gave formal notice Wednesday that it intends to sue Hilcorp under provisions of the Clean Water Act.
The 60-day required notice said the discharge of methane is displacing oxygen in the water column and creating a "dead zone" of unknown expanse that could harm or kill fish and wildlife.
The group called for an immediate halt to illegal discharges of natural gas.