Damaged barge spills oil in Tenn-Tom lock


The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Coast Guard is continuing to respond Wednesday to a crude oil discharge that is contained within the Jamie Whitten Lock at mile marker 412 on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (Tenn-Tom).

Watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley received a report at 6:46 a.m. Sunday from the National Response Center that crude oil was discharging from a damaged crude oil barge owned by Savage Inland Marine.

The damaged cargo tank on the barge had an estimated capacity of 321,000 gallons of crude oil. The estimated amount released and contained in the Jamie Whitten Lock is 117,000 gallons; the remaining capacity was removed from the barge.

E3 Environmental has been contracted to contain and recover the spill.

Five vacuum trucks, seven skimmers, over 75 personnel from 11 different federal and state agencies as well as emergency management response contractors are on scene conducting 24-hour oil recovery operations.

The crude oil is contained within the lock and dam, and within the 40 feet of boom placed around the dam.

Involved in the response efforts are:

Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley
Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Nashville
Coast Guard National Strike Force
National Transportation Safety Board
T&T Salvage
Savage Inland Marine Services
Army Corps of Engineers
Mississippi Environmental Management Agency
National Response Corporation
E3 Environmental 
Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health

There is no reported impact to wildlife.

The Sector Ohio Valley captain of the port closed the waterway from mile marker 410 to mile marker 414 on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

By Professional Mariner Staff