Port Arthur Oil Spill: UPDATE

By Adam Hooper - bio | email

PORT ARTHUR, TX (KPLC) - Progress is being made in the oil spill cleanup, but some still remains, and ships need to pass.

"We are worried about getting vessel traffic through. We still have a little bit of oil in the water ways, mainly the intercoastal waterway," said T.J. Ewing with the Texas General Land Office.

But, as cleanup continues, limited access is being granted to some vessels.

"We feel that we have cleaned up a majority of the oil, and at this point we felt that we we're at a point we could open up the water way to limited vessel with restrictions. That is a positive step for the region," said Commander Zachary Pickett with the United States Coast Guard.

"We have boats running through, and ships running through with cleaning stations at either end, to clean these vessels as they come out. We have state and federal inspectors inspecting these vessels making sure they are cleaned to move on to other ports," said Ewing.

The main concern at this point is the barge traffic in some areas.

"The waterways are still pretty messed up near the Texico Island area. We are trying to get that opened up," said Ewing.

The United States Coast Guard, along with the Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation into the collision of the two vessels, that caused 462-thousand gallons of crude oil to spill into the water.

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