Shelter-in-place order issued after barge leak in Houston Ship Channel

Ship Channel Barge Hole1 Jpg

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

(HOUSTON) (June 10) — A shelter-in-place was lifted and the Houston Ship Channel was reopened at 2:08 p.m. Wednesday, after an incident in the upper ship channel that caused the release of as much as 23,000 gallons of naphtha (PTN).

The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other agencies and responders are working together to ensure the safety of people in the area, responders and to minimize any impact to the environment if possible.

"Upon consultation with the NOAA support coordinator, their models showed that most of the product would evaporate in approximately three hours," said Cmdr. Eric Carrero, the federal on-scene coordinator for the Coast Guard. "We are continuing to ensure the safety of personnel and the environment."

The Coast Guard was notified of the incident through a National Response Center report from someone on the ship channel at 11:46 a.m., reporting a smell in the area. Shortly after, a representative from Kirby Inland Marine reported the allision that impacted cargo tank number one on the starboard side of the barge. The Chevron facility where the barge was docked issued a shelter-in-place for their facility and the Coast Guard shut down a 1.5-mile section of the upper ship channel from Light 152 to Greens Port Industrial Park.

An incident command post has been established in Channelview to coordinate response efforts. A number of agencies have been working together including the Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, Deer Park Emergency Operations Center, Galena Emergency Operations Center, Port of Houston, Kirby Inland Marine, The Response Group and T&T Salvage.

The barge was carrying approximately 30,000 barrels of naphtha, or more than 1 million gallons, and the impacted tank had approximately 5,000 barrels.


(HOUSTON) — A shelter-in-place order was issued for more than two hours Wednesday after a barge leaked naphtha in the Houston Ship Channel, reported. Officials said it was not known what caused 200 barrels of the colorless, volatile petroleum distillate to leak from the Kirby Inland Marine vessel. An aerial view showed a large hole in the side of the moored barge.

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By Professional Mariner Staff