Agencies Respond to Capsized Barge

Thursday, November 06, 2003
Additional agencies are arriving today to assist in the recovery of a barge loaded with sulfuric acid that capsized in the Texas City Harbor at about 6 p.m. Monday. Personnel from the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team arrived on scene to assist in planning and providing resources to try and right the barge. The tank barge NMS 1477, operated by Martin Product Sales LLC, was carrying approximately 235,000 gallons of sulfuric acid when it capsized at Sterling Chemical dock 2 Monday evening. Martin Product Sales LLC is continuing to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality Houston Region 12, Texas Parks and Wildlife, the EPA and NOAA to minimize the impact of this incident. Some of the sulfuric acid has leaked from the overturned barge and responders are closely monitoring the air quality level, as well as the pH level of the surrounding waters. The captain of the port of Houston-Galveston has established a temporary safety zone in the immediate area. This safety zone does not impact recreational and fishing boats. There are no injuries reported. The Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Galveston is investigating the cause of this accident.

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