NATCHEZ, Miss. – The Coast Guard, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and Magnolia Marine established a unified command in response to the MM-46 barge allision, Friday.
“Our top priorities for this response are the safety of all personnel and public involved with the incident, and mitigating the impact to the environment,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Mary Dwyer, Federal Incident Commander for the Barge MM-46 Response.
Response crews began lightering operations at 8:35 a.m., Saturday, to remove the remaining clarified oil mixture from barge MM-46 to two Magnolia Marine barges on scene. Crews estimate that approximately 76,000 gallons of clarified oil mixture is still unaccounted for, but crews continually take soundings of the damaged barge tank to determine the amount spilled.
Capt. Timothy Wendt, commander, Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi and Captain of the Port, re-opened the river near the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge to northbound vessels, while all southbound vessels are still restricted from transiting the river.