Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More Fuel Oil Spills into Mississippi River

That barge that spilled more than 400,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Mississippi River around New Orleans last week is leaking again. Both WWL TV and The Times Picayune report that about two miles of the river's been closed temporarily.

The barge had been left leaning against a pier by The Crescent City Connection and slipped or shifted this morning. Today's leak renews concern about the safety of drinking water, reports WWL (story and video). The first time the barge spilled water, residents of some parishes down river, south of NOLA, were asked to conserve water and for a while NOLA residents feared city water may have been contaminated.
Officials say the shift, which has created a 300-foot-long oil sheen on the river's surface, was caused by the gradual drop in the river during the past week. Local government agencies have shut down water intakes serving the Algiers section of New Orleans and in the parishes of St. Bernard and Plaquemines as a precautionary measure. (
Last week, a tug boat with an improperly-licensed pilot collided with the barge, cracking it in two, and causing the spill.

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