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Oil Spill Texas City Galveston Bay

Oil spill from barge accident near Texas City (Image via U.S. Coast Guard)

(TEXAS CITY, TX) — Bolivar ferry service resumed Monday as cleanup from an oil spill caused by a weekend barge-ship collision in Galveston Bay continued.

According to Texas City Emergency Management, a barge and a ship had an accident Saturday off the end of the dike, resulting in a large, messy oil spill that closed the Texas City Dike and halted Bolivar ferry service.

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The barge was carrying 924,000 gallons of marine fuel oil — an especially thick, sticky oil. Authorities said about 170,000 gallons leaked into the water near a popular bird habitat as the peak of the migratory shorebird season was approaching.

Booms were brought in to try to contain the spill, which the U.S. Coast Guard said was reported at around 12:30 p.m. Saturday by the captain of the 585-foot ship, Summer Wind. The barge was being towed by the vessel Miss Susan from Texas City to Bolivar at the time.

The Coast Guard said that Kirby Inland Marine, which owns the tow vessel and barge, was working with it and the Texas General Land Office at the scene.

Coast Guard officials said six crew members from the tow vessel were in stable condition, but it offered no details about their injuries.

Jim Suydam, spokesman for the General Land Office in La Porte, described the type of oil the barge was carrying as “sticky, gooey, thick, tarry stuff.”

“That stuff is terrible to have to clean up,” he said.

Suydam said almost every private cleanup outfit in the area was out there helping out under the coordination of the Coast Guard and General Land Office.

USCG Capt. Brian Penoyer said it is too soon to determine who is at fault for the weekend oil spill.

“It’s important to remember that the ‘Texas City Y’ where this accident happened is an intersection of three major waterways,” Penoyer explained. “There are extensive lines of inquiry that need to be pursued to understand how two vessels collided in that intersection.”



Oil Spill Cleanup Continues in Galveston Bay [WATCH]  was originally published on