By JANET McCONNAUGHEY and MATTHEW BROWN
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal records show a severely corroded pipeline ruptured and spilled more than 300,000 gallons of diesel fuel just outside New Orleans. State and local officials say most of the fuel drained into and was skimmed out of two artificial ponds called “borrow pits.” They say thousands of fish, birds and other animals were killed. Government documents show the spill from the 16-inch-diameter pipeline occurred Dec. 27 just east of New Orleans, near a closed navigation canal in St. Bernard Parish. An October 2020 inspection revealed external corrosion along a 22-foot section of pipe in the same area as the spill. But the documents show repairs were delayed.