Clean up efforts of spilled crude oil in Mississippi River continue

8th Coast Guard District NewsNEW ORLEANS — The tank barge involved in the collision, which resulted in the spill of Louisiana sweet crude into the lower Mississippi River, has been emptied and relocated, Sunday.

The remaining oil in the barge holding tanks was removed and the barge has been relocated to a repair facility in West Wego.

The barge had been secured to the bank of the Mississippi River since Friday following a collision between the Clarence W. Settoon and the Alydar, which was pushing a construction barge at the time. The collision tore a hole into the double-hulled tanker barge causing the release of an amount of oil estimated to be less than 10,000 gallons.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port New Orleans, Capt. Pete Gautier, temporarily closed the river to commercial traffic Friday, but later allowed vessels to transit in a rotation to ensure the safety of contracted cleanup personnel and to minimize economic impact.

A total of 101 response personnel from the Coast Guard, ES & H and OMI Environmental Services are actively engaged in the cleanup.

Since operations began Friday, 100 bags of oiled debris and 40 bags of oiled sorbents have been collected. A total of 4,700 feet of hard containment boom has been deployed in an effort to minimize environmental damage.

The Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office and Settoon Towing have established a unified command to respond to the incident.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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