Texas City Dike oil spill cleaned up, traffic back to normal

Reporter Sonia Azad snapped this photo of the cleanup Saturday

August 21, 2011 11:17:56 AM PDT
All commercial traffic in the Texas City Channel has returned to normal and most of the oil spilled Friday has been cleaned up, according to officials.

The Texas City Dike is open to all traffic, but some clean-up operations continue along the dike. The investigation into the cause of the oil spill is underway.

Approximately 2,100 gallons of bunker oil were spilled into the channel Friday after a tank was overfilled on Buffalo Barge 409. The Coast Guard has named Buffalo Marine Service Inc. as the responsible party.

The recoverable oil was contained in boom near the Northwest side of the dike. Clean-up crews were deployed to clean the spill using absorbent boom, snare and both land- and water-based skimming systems.

"This response was a text book operation and went very smoothly. All members of the Unified Incident Command and everyone involved in the response and clean up stepped up and took care of business," Henry de La Garza, public information officer for the response, said in a release Sunday. "The safety of the public and the responders to this incident were of the utmost priority. We activated clean up operations and monitored environmental conditions, and quickly addressed any potential safety concerns. Air monitoring has been conducted since Friday and air quality readings have been normal."

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