Response efforts continue following estimated spill of 9,000 gallons of gasoline blend component reformate

From MarineLOG 

The Houston Ship Channel has been reopened following the closure that followed the May 10 collision between the 755-foot tanker Genesis River and barges pushed by the Kirby tug Voyager that resulted in a 9,000 gallon spill of gasoline blend stock (see earlier story).

According to an update issued by the unified command responding to the spill, the following restrictions were in place as of 3.00 p.m. yesterday: no meeting or overtaking at Light 73, wake and surge considerations from Light 66-76, vessels are to favor the red side of the channel as a safety precaution. As of 2 p.m., yesterday, there were no outbound vessels and 53 inbound vessels waiting to make safe passage through the channel.

A one nautical mile safety zone is in effect around the damaged barge.

Salvage teams have secured the barges in their current locations and continue to remove product from the damaged barge while crews prepare to conduct salvage operations on the capsized barge. Work is expected to continue throughout the day with an established priority of ensuring the protection of the bay from additional release of product.

Salvage assets include a crane barge, a lightering barge and multiple spud barges that are on scene to secure the damaged barges in place. Shoreline cleanup assessment teams have been deployed to areas where product may have reached the shore.

Six skimmers are on scene and have recovered more than 376 barrels of product-water mixture. More than 20,000-feet of boom has been deployed around the barges as well as surrounding sensitive shoreline areas.

Containment boom surrounds the damaged barge and skimming operations are in place to address possible release while product is transferred from the barge. There is active cleaning underway along Bay Shoreline due to reports of sheen.

Response teams continue to conduct air monitoring throughout the area with results posted at www.bayport-response.com. As of 3 p.m. Monday, 4,735 air quality assessments had been taken in the community and analyzed with no results showing above actionable levels. Water quality testing teams continued to conduct sampling and assess the need for shoreline remediation.


Update: Unified Command Begins Removal of Barges from Houston Ship Channel

HOUSTON – As of 8:20 a.m. today, the Unified Command responding to last week’s collision between a tanker and two barges near Bayport, Texas, has begun removal of both barges from the Houston Ship Channel.

The decision follows successful removal of the remaining gasoline blend product onboard the Kirby barge 30015T which was struck by the tanker Genesis River last Friday afternoon. Late Tuesday afternoon it was determined that the MNI 3041 barge, aground and submerged in the water as a result of the incident, could also be safely floated and moved to shore without removal of its product. The entire movement is expected to last approximately four hours.

Air and water quality monitoring will take place throughout transit and following the transit process. An adequate supply of containment boom will also be available on scene as a precautionary measure.  Existing containment and absorbent boom in place along sensitive shoreline areas will remain in place.

Skimmer boats and the Port of Houston fire boat will be on standby to provide rapid response if needed. All other navigation in the ship channel will be suspended during the complete transit process.

The damaged barge will be taken to the Southwest Shipyard at Channelview while the other barge will be towed to the Barbour’s Cut Turning Basin.  Both barges will undergo thorough decontamination to remove all residue from any of the gasoline blend stock from their hulls. The MNI 3041 undamaged barge will be lightered at the Barbour’s Cut.

 


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