Friday, October 14, 2016

At least 5,000 gallons of the low sulfur diesel fuel spilled in the Port Isabel Channel, after a barge allided with a dock

A Coast Guard law enforcement boat enforces a safety zone as Miller Environmental response crews use absorbent pads and absorbent boom to collect diesel from the Port Isabel Channel in Texas, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Andrew Kendrick.

Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office responding to diesel spill near South Padre Island, Texas
Oct 13th, 2016

PORT ISABEL, Texas — Response workers were able to recover more than 2,000 gallons of diesel through the night and into Thursday morning in the Port Isabel Channel, after a barge allided with a dock Tuesday.

Tuesday at 11:24 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a report that the a barge in tow of the towing vessel, Capt. Jim Green, allided with a dock at the Subsea 7 facility in the channel, which caused the release of approximately 5,000 gallons of the low sulfur diesel fuel one of the barges was carrying.

The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and other state and local responders arrived quickly after the incident occurred and began response efforts with the barge owner to mitigate impacts from the spill and recover the diesel from the water. Miller Environmental was also activated as the oil spill response organization and began cleanup operations. The unified command believes there is approximately 1,000 gallons of diesel that has not been recovered.

Response crews will continue using absorbent pads, absorbent boom, shore-side skimming drums and vacuum trucks Thursday, to collect the remaining diesel which can be recovered.

As the area around the damaged barge is cleaned, the unified command anticipates moving the barge to a Transmontaigne dock, in the Brownsville Ship Channel, to offload the cargo. The Coast Guard will re-evaluate the need for keeping the safety zone after the barge is moved and will re-open the waterway if it does not impact any cleanup operations.

There have been no reported impacts to wildlife.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.  Drunk or careless captain?