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Environmental legislation is a relatively new concept in the United States’ regulatory regime. High profile environmental disasters, including several in other countries, have underscored the challenges of effectively and efficiently responding to an environmental pollution event. For a thirty year period, beginning in the early 1960s, laws were enacted to address anthropogenic pollution and create response frameworks; some of the laws passed during the latter years pertained to oil pollution, specifically in response to high profile oil spills. The societal prevalence of oil and the recent expansion of marine oil production platforms into deeper waters have complicated the response efforts under the current legislative structure. The Gulf of Mexico’s deep-sea drilling platforms and risk of hurricane damage increases the risk of industrial accidents leading to large scale oil spills. Although the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in 2010 dominates recent discussion, consideration of a spill that began prior to the DWH, and continues into the present, illustrates a different set of issues. Persistent oil slicks have been observed less than 20 km offshore Louisiana within Mississippi Canyon lease block 20 (MC20), near the toppled Taylor Energy well jacket, which was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan’s passage through the Gulf of Mexico in 2004. Immediately after the storm’s final landfall, satellite images detected surface oil slicks at the site. Acoustic surveys observed prominent plumes of gas and oil rising from near the well jacket to the surface. The objective of this research was to evaluate these plumes and quantify the density and size frequency of bubbles. These findings provide a context to analyze the response efforts of the Unified Command (UC) and efficacy of the current environmental legislation. In the field effort, an oil and gas bubble collecting and imaging device (bubblometer) was constructed. Its components include a calibrated visualization chamber, transparent collection tube, and four sample cylinders. The bubblometer was mounted on the lower platform (skid) of a Comanche ROV. In its retracted position, the lower opening of chamber was closed; a hydraulic actuator extended the bubblometer beyond the skid so that the chamber was open at the bottom. Location of the plumes was determined by a NOAA acoustician, allowing the ROV operator to navigate to the site and position the bubblometer within the plumes. Video of bubbles passing through the bubblometer visualization chamber and entering the collection tube was recorded with an HD video camera calibrated to resolve 4 pixels/mm. Video frames were analyzed with a Matlab based machine learning algorithm to count, classify, and measure gas and oil bubbles to provide an estimate of oil flux at the MC20 site. A total of 12,139 bubbles were counted (5,881 gas and 6,258 oil) and were typically 5-10 mm or greater. Gas bubbles contained 35.6% oil by volume. These results contributed to the refutation of Taylor Energy’s “rum punch” hypothesis that remnant oil in the sediments is the primary source of the surface slick and indicate that at least one well is actively leaking at the site. Contention within the UC protracted the response efforts and revealed weaknesses within the structure and the legislation under which it was created. Lessons learned from the Taylor Energy oil spill should lead to the modification of existing environmental legislation to address deep-sea and other unique site conditions encountered during marine oil spills.