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River closed at New Orleans after barge spills oil



NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River remained closed at New Orleans on Monday following a weekend collision that resulted in crude oil spilling from a barge.

Authorities involved in the cleanup and investigation planned a Monday morning conference call as they worked on estimates of how much oil spilled and when the river would re-open, a Coast Guard spokesman, Petty Officer Bill Colclough, said.

At last count Sunday night, the river closure affected 26 vessels - 16 waiting to go downriver and 10 waiting to go upriver.

Officials reported only a light sheen following the accident but river traffic was halted to avoid contaminating passing vessels and to prevent oil from spreading downriver.

No injuries were reported in Saturday afternoon's accident involving the barge being pushed by a tugboat and another tugboat near Vacherie, 47 miles west of New Orleans. The other tugboat was pushing grain barges.

Public drinking water intakes on the river were closed as a precaution in nearby St. Charles Parish, officials said. "The water supply in St. Charles Parish remains safe," parish officials said in a news release Sunday afternoon.

The closure included the Port of New Orleans. However, both the Carnival Sunshine and the Norwegian Jewel cruise ships were able to leave the port Sunday to begin their scheduled cruises, said Petty Officer Craig Woerhle at the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service in New Orleans.

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kmgbrokerage February 24 2014 at 7:30 PM

You wouldnt have that problem with a PIPELINE

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runswthscisors40 February 24 2014 at 6:22 PM

Did they put crime scene tape up across the river??...............

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ihave1465fans February 24 2014 at 5:45 PM

I propose a Cleanup Tax to be levied on those who vote in favor of the XL pipeline, and that they be drafted to work on the cleanups after spills !

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ihave1465fans February 24 2014 at 5:37 PM

THIS is EXACTLY why we CANNOT allow the XL Pipeline. Machinery breaks, spills happen, you can clean up the river, you can clean up the ground, but you CAN'T clean the aquifer if that toxic stuff gets in there.

The industrialists would like nothing more than to sell you cleaned up water, water they polluted in the first place, water that you should be able to have for free.

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kmgbrokerage February 24 2014 at 7:32 PM

You wouldnt have that problem with a pipeline! Besides passing several safety checks, and "spills" would be confined to a very small area

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djhan486 February 24 2014 at 5:17 PM

These idiots on here claiming pipelines over and through aquifers are therefore more sensible than tankers on rivers...not one of them will admit that the days of fossil fuels could be numbered if only we subsidized renewables as heavily as we subsidize coal, gas, and oil. One example of a subsidy is that superfunds, EPA, state EPAs, and a multitude of other agencies - funded by taxpayers - exist as part of the socialized cost of fossil fuel conglomerates. They privatize profit and socialize costs. Lets do for renewable energy what Kennedy did for the Apollo program. A few short years ago, fossil fuel idiots claimed there was no such thing as a functional car that could meet safety standards and go more than 50 miles with electric power. Can you say "Tesla?" Yes, it still relies on the grid, I know. But the technology to switch to fossil fuels can be had if we quit these massive subsidies to fossil fuel industry!

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interwest February 24 2014 at 5:41 PM

Maybe you should the read the enviormental impact statments concerning Keystone before you spout fear about Ogallala and High Plains aquifers. Also, the only econonically viable aternative to fossils is nuclear, but I'm sure thats not viable for you.

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bbnpl4545 February 24 2014 at 4:33 PM

Will Oil cost more or less if pipelines are installed ? Compared to river transport.

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ihave1465fans February 24 2014 at 5:40 PM

Wont matter, we are already refining far more gas than we use and selling it to other countries !

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interwest February 24 2014 at 3:36 PM

Oh, I guess greenliks must live in a cave, he doesn't use any oil

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interwest February 24 2014 at 3:17 PM

This is why pipelines make enviromental sense...

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jeffc152 February 24 2014 at 3:40 PM

Why, so they can spill it allover the ground instead? And as we all know, burning burning fossil fuels is what is changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and in turn the oceans. Only renewable energy sources make any environmental sense, if we really must have all this energy in the first place...

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PHILL AND TRISHA February 24 2014 at 3:09 PM

isn't it the right wing who says "we don't need no regulations..no E.P.A. or no safety because they all cut profits?......ok..as long as those right wingers are the ones hurt most by this kind of thing...its fine with me!

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swoolfman February 24 2014 at 3:29 PM

So why weren't they moving it through pipelines? Oh, yeah, we can build any pipelines in this country, can we. The left would go nuts!

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bbnpl4545 February 24 2014 at 4:21 PM

Left nut, right nut,

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jeffc152 February 24 2014 at 3:44 PM

It is true the conservative politicians and those who support them are literally poison for the environment. Put "environmental voting record republicans" in your search engine and read all about it.

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runswthscisors40 February 24 2014 at 2:56 PM

OIl train derails/explodes in ND, gas price jumped from 3.09 to 3.29 a gallon.....same day...........Today, a barge leaks crude oil in Mississippi River.........gas price jumps from 3.35 a gallon to 3.55 a gallon...........how many more of these "coincidences" are we gonna take??...............

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