Lower Mississippi Oil Spill Update

Press Release
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The unified command continues response to a crude oil spill near mile marker 436 in Vicksburg, Miss.

The tow-barge that is on scene has started removing fuel from the damaged barge MOC-12, which will be inspected and prepared for transit to a maritime facility nearby Vicksburg after oil removal operations are complete.

“Despite the response crew efforts to contain the seeping oil, an unspecified amount has broken through the containment boom due to the difficulties of working on a dynamic and powerful river current,” said Capt. William Drelling, Federal On Scene Commander for the Vicksburg oil spill. “Skimmers are on scene to help minimize the environmental threat of any additional potential releases.”

Response crews have deployed 2,800-feet of boom to contain further oil release. Skimming vessels have recovered approximately 3,900 gallons of oil-water mixture since the incident occurred. The tank levels are being continually monitored.

The Mississippi River remains closed for a 16-mile distance between mile marker 425 and mile marker 441 near Vicksburg. However, the unified command is working with the Coast Guard’s Marine Transportation System Recovery Unit to coordinate the transit of vessels to test the effects on response operations.

Currently, there are 34 northbound vessels with 532 barges and 37 southbound vessels with 524 barges affected due to the river closure. Mississippi River vessel traffic queue management is ongoing.  
 

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