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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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Karine February 24 2014 at 9:56 AM

Good grief! these occorances are now almost daily ... God knows what goes on that we don't even hear about ! This crap has to stop once and for all !

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bbnpl4545 February 24 2014 at 11:38 AM

Upgrade the steam Engine.

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1 reply
fordbarn1 bbnpl4545 February 24 2014 at 12:40 PM

And were do we get the heat? Oil? Wood?

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1 reply
bbnpl4545 fordbarn1 February 24 2014 at 2:36 PM

Wood, Thin out the areas that just burn away every year in America. That is such a waste of resource anyway.

Flag +1 rate up
wlab123 February 24 2014 at 9:21 AM

I heard Rafael Cruz say that oil and water don't mix, therefore, there isn't a problem.

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vbn0000 February 24 2014 at 1:04 PM

There's more run off from someone here than from the leaking tanker.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
TED February 24 2014 at 9:36 AM

This spill is a tragedy but would be somewhat palatable if it was going to be refined into fuel for US use. The fact that is was going to a refinery owned by an oil company getting government subsidies for ultimate sale to China or other points west is despicable. Oil slated to move through the XL pipeline is also slated for sale to China . Judging from the Enbridge pipeline leak in Michigan that is still being remediate after 2.5 years spills are a given.

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1 reply
M TED February 24 2014 at 10:29 AM

I have wondered how the USA is importing roughly 7% of its oil, and has been and still is exporting as well.
*Call me confused*.

Other than the banksters *arbitraging* crude and refined oil, the only other thing that seems to make sense is exactly WHERE the oil is being produced, refined, and used. If there is a surplus of production on one coast, (not enough refineries in an area for example...) the oil has gotta go somewhere else.

Oh, and the oil companies had been on a buying *binge* years ago to buy up the small refineries and shut them down... now why do you think that was being done?

For a lot of engineering reasons, refineries are more *productive* in moderate climates where temperatures don't get into the *cold* range...
Just sayin.

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QUIRINO T. MATA February 24 2014 at 10:07 AM

clean it up asap!!!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
tedrussell511742 February 24 2014 at 2:03 PM

Wouldn't a pipeline for oil transfer be a better means of transporting this oil and moving it on our waterways?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
donheydon February 24 2014 at 2:06 PM

Why did they collide? Incompetent operators? Why does oil spill so easily? Could tankers perhaps be better reinforced?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
loxma February 24 2014 at 2:52 PM

if i remember right what is holding up the pipeline was the fact it was going threw the lake where people get thier drinking water. the pipe line would not work on this problem for a way around . has anyone researched this pipeline ,and do you know where it going to end up ????? , oh im sorry we really should trust these people right.

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rbrtkyte February 24 2014 at 2:53 PM

I fail to see how we can STILL be having problems with oil tankers after all these oil spills explosions etc etc ,
Seriously if a tanker is going to go through the mississippi the why not give them at least a mile of unobstructed way ,and any Captain that is found to be violating any rules in any of these "mishaps" should be barred for life from being in charge of such a vessel .
Any and all boats should give these tankers the right of way ,period (in other words they should dock at the first chance to give them clearence
This just seems to be another way of increasing gas prices if you ask me ,just watch some of the old episodes of Dallas lol

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2 replies
greenliks rbrtkyte February 24 2014 at 3:19 PM

how about we build a giant pipe line from northern Canada to transport the fuel you morons use daily?

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MaryAnn rbrtkyte February 24 2014 at 4:44 PM

The regulations of barge and tug traffic are extensive. I imagine who ever is responsible for this spill will lose their license, spend some time in jail or pay a very hefty fine.

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