Oil spill closes Mississippi River at New Orleans

The Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office (LOSCO) and local agencies continue to clean up an oil spill on the Lower Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans. The Singapore-flagged 587’x88′ cargo ship Pac Antares hit a pier on Thursday morning causing an estimated 4,200 gals. of fuel oil to discharge.

Response personnel are conducting an assessment of the affected area and have established an Incident Command Post to coordinate response efforts.

OMI Environmental Solutions continued to deploy containment boom, sorbent boom and pads around the spill to contain and collect oil Thursday afternoon. They have deployed one skimmer at the site to skim the oil off the surface of the river and have four more are en route.

The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are maintaining stations in the vicinity of the Riverwalk mall near the French Quarter.

“First responders continue to work to minimize the environmental impacts and protect the public so the river can be opened to commercial traffic as soon as possible,” Capt. Wayne Arguin, commander, Sector New Orleans, said in a statement.

The Mississippi River remained closed from mile marker 91 to mile marker 101 as of Thursday evening, keeping river ferries tied to the dock and increasing traffic on the river bridges as people made their way into the city for the annual French Quarter Festival. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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About the author

Ken Hocke

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.

1 Comment

  1. Gerald Foucha on

    I am concerned about the health risk with something like this. I hope that special precautions will be announced to info the public about these risk.

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