Cargo Removal Ops Begin on Sunken Barge

Friday, February 18, 2005
CHICAGO, IL – The process of removing the Clarified Slurry Oil that remains on board the EMC423 barge has commenced today. This operation will be closely monitored by the Coast Guard and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that it is safe, efficient, and will not result in further pollution.

While this lightering operation is underway, the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal will be closed to all vessel traffic between the Cicero Avenue Bridge and Chicago Belt Railway Bridge so as to not interfere with the cargo removal process.

The Coast Guard has been working in partnership with facilities along the canal that rely on shipments of products and materials by barge to minimize the economic effect of this closure. Waterfront facilities have been encouraged to seek alternate methods of receiving shipments or to stockpile the materials they need in sufficient quantities to function normally for the duration of this operation.

Once this lightering operation is completed, the salvage process will begin. The removal of the EMC423 barge from the canal could take several weeks.

The Coast Guard is continuing to investigate the cause of this accident.

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