The Coast Guard has drastically increased its estimates of the amount of asphalt spilled from a grounded barge on the James River in Virginia, saying up to 63,000 gallons have leaked from a tank holding more than twice that much, according to a PilotOnline report. Most of it is concentrated beneath and along the sides of the 250 ft., nearly submerged barge, where divers were attempting to find the leak and plug it. More than 2,000 feet of oil containment boom surrounds the football field-size spill.
No evidence of significant environmental damage has been seen yet, according to the report.
The spill occurred about 4:30 a.m. Monday, five miles south of Richmond, when the barge Piney Point was being pushed by the tug Barbary Coast en route from Baltimore to Richmond’s Deep Water Terminal where it was to have been unloaded. It was the second time in seven months a barge traveling the James River has run aground and leaked its cargo. Both times it was a barge owned by Vane Line Bunkering