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Galveston Bay Barge Collision, Oil Spilled

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Posted: Mar 23, 2014 9:16 AM

Updated: Mar 23, 2014 9:17 AM

TEXAS CITY - Its not yet known how much oil was spilled following a collision in Galveston Bay. It happened around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when an oil barge being towed collided with a ship near Texas City.

The Coast Guard said the spill had not been contained as of ten Saturday night. Texas City Homeland Security Director Bruce Clawson told a Galveston newspaper that the barge sunk. That barge was carrying nearly a million gallons of what's being described as an especially thick and sticky oil.

The area where the collision happened is near popular bird habitat in Texas City. Jim Suydam, a spokesman for the General Land Office says the oil that spilled is quote, "terrible to have to clean up." This is all happening as the peak of the migratory shorebird season is fast approaching. Texas City Emergency Management has posted a notice on their Facebook page saying an area dike and all parks on the water are closed until further notice.

The barge carrying the oil was being towed from Texas City to Bolivar when the crash happened. A company called Kirby Inland Marine owns the tow vessel and the barge.

This all comes just two days before the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska. The Exxon Valdez oil tanker hit a reef on March 24, 1989. It spilled more than ten million gallons of oil into the water. It led to the creation of a Government office to prevent oil spills. The General Land Office's Oil Spill and Prevention Office plans emergency responses, including positioning response equipment along the Gulf Coast.

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