The Unified Command for the Bayport Channel Collision reports that salvage operations were concluded over the weekend on the second barge involved in the May 10 collision on the Houston Ship Channel. Shoreline remediation is ongoing at a site in the Kemah area, in coordination with two impacted property owners, but all other emergency response activities are concluded. Air and water monitoring related to this event has been suspended and the final results of all community air and water testing have been posted on the incident website as of this morning.
The Unified Command consists of the United States Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston, the Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Division, the Port of Houston Authority Fire Department and Kirby Inland Marine. The Joint Information Center that has been supporting the Unified Command is being disestablished, effective immediately, and the JIC phone line is no longer active. Future media or other inquiries related to this incident should be made directly to the appropriate agency or company. The website at www.bayport-response.com will remain active for 30 days, but will not be further updated.
The unified command would like to thank the many responders whose efforts resolved this situation and limited the risk and impacts to surrounding communities. The unified command also appreciates the patience and support of members of the impacted communities as the response was ongoing.
Additional water monitoring results obtained by the Bayport Channel Collision Unified Command are now available on the water monitoring page at www.bayport-response.com.
Today, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued the following statement lifting its temporary seafood consumption advisory issued as a consequence of the Bayport Channel Collision:
“DSHS is lifting its temporary advice that people not eat any seafood from portions of Galveston and Trinity bays following the May 10 shipping collision and chemical release. Recent water testing shows contaminants from the accident no longer present a risk to human health from consuming fish or shellfish. Private oyster harvesting in Galveston Bay will reopen effective May 25 at 10 a.m., subject to other restrictions.
A longer-term fish consumption advisory for Galveston Bay remains in effect. DSHS advises people avoid or limit eating any catfish from all of Galveston Bay and avoid or limit eating blue crab and spotted seatrout north of a line from Red Bluff Point to the Five-Mile Cut Marker to Houston Point. Additional details are in maps online (Galveston Bay Estuary – Map 1, Map 2).”
The Unified Command for the Bayport Channel Collision on May 10, 2019 consists of the United States Coast Guard as Federal on Scene Coordinator, the Texas General Land Office as State on Scene Coordinator, and Kirby Inland Marine, as the vessel owner. With the lifting of the DSHS advisory, Unified Command advises there are no further restrictions or warnings in effect that are a consequence of this event.
New water monitoring results have been posted to the www.bayport-response.com website. Additional reports will be posted as they become available. Community air monitoring was terminated on May 21, as the remaining cargo has been removed from the capsized barge. There will be no further air monitoring reports beyond those already posted.
The Unified Command has obtained the initial results of water testing performed in Galveston Bay. They are now posted under the heading “Water Monitoring” at www.bayport-response.com. Additional results will be posted on the water monitoring page as they become available.
The Unified Command for the Bayport Channel Collision provides this update regarding the current situation and future plans.
As reported yesterday, the damaged barge has had all cargo removed and it has been delivered to a local shipyard for further evaluation. It is no longer a factor in this response.
The capsized barge was moved yesterday to a safe location in Barbours Cut, where crews will work in the coming days to remove the cargo from the barge and conduct further salvage operations. No further releases of cargo are anticipated, but should they occur, the area is boomed off to contain any spills and response crews are standing by on scene. Additionally, air monitoring will continue in the communities near the work site until the cargo is removed from the barge. Areas being monitored include Morgan’s Point, Shoreacres, La Porte and Channelview. Community air monitoring reports will continue to be posted to the air monitoring page at www.bayport-response.com each day for as long as monitoring continues. As of 11:00 am on May 16, 2019, the Unified Command Air Monitoring Team has obtained 16,130 air readings throughout the area.
Ongoing and planned operations at the site of the overturned barge will have no impact on vessel movements in the Houston Ship Channel or adjacent waterways. Traffic continues to operate without restrictions.
Natural resource monitoring and assessments will continue and will involve the appropriate agencies and non-governmental partners. Impacted areas will be addressed and remediated as approved by the Unified Command.
Going forward, updates to this site will be limited to any significant developments. The claims number and website will remain active for the foreseeable future. Inquiries regarding the response and its status may continue to be directed to the Joint Information Center using the “Contact Us” link at www.bayport-response.com.