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Barge Releases 3,400 Gallons of Oil Into Mississippi

Spill USCG
Image courtesy USCG

Published Jun 13, 2023 4:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, first responders worked to managed a discharge of oil from a barge on the Lower Mississippi near Natchez.

Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received a call at about 2200 hours on Saturday from tug and barge operator Kirby Inland Marine. The company reported a petroleum discharge from one of their barges, which was under tow by the towboat Leviticus. The spill occurred at mile marker 339 on the Lower Mississippi, a few miles downstream from Natchez, Mississippi. 

Coast Guard pollution responders from Vicksburg and Sector Lower Mississippi River deployed to assess the situation. The crew of the Leviticus halted the discharge, and they estimated that about 3,400 gallons of product entered the water. Another 1,000 gallons leaked but were contained on the deck of the barge without going into the water.  

Kirby Inland Marine is currently working with two spill response companies to clean up the discharged product. About 1,000 feet of hard and sorbent boom were deployed on Sunday to limit the spread of pollution, and about 800 gallons of oily water has been recovered. 

There have been no reports of wildlife impact, injuries or other hazards to safety.

"The Coast Guard is working diligently with Kirby Inland Marine and the OSROs to ensure a timely and effective cleanup to mitigate any environmental impacts," said Capt. Ryan S. Rhodes, Commander of Sector Lower Mississippi River and Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the incident. "Responders from each organization are working tirelessly to assess and remove the product from the shoreline and waterway."