Category Archives: Incident Updates

State Health Department Lifts Seafood Consumption Advisory

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 1Map 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.

 

Additional Bayport Collision Response Water Monitoring Results Available, Community Air Monitoring has Concluded

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.

Update #8: Unified Command Issues Status Report on the Bayport Channel Collision Response

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.

UPDATE 7:  Unified Command removes barges involved in collision from Houston Ship Channel

HOUSTON – The Unified Command, consisting of U.S. Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, Port of Houston Fire Department and Kirby Inland Marine, have successfully removed two barges involved in a collision from the Houston Ship Channel, Wednesday. 

The Captain of the Port of Houston-Galveston has opened the Houston Ship Channel without restrictions and vessel traffic has returned to normal operations.  As of 12 p.m., 41 vessels are awaiting inbound passage through the channel and 24 are awaiting outbound passage.

“The successful removal process is a credit to precise planning and risk assessment by the various agencies, barge owner and contract personnel who responded to this incident,” said Lt. Cmdr. Muhammad Ali Cochran, federal on-scene coordinator. “I am pleased that we have been able to safely remove these barges from the incident site and facilitate the return of normal commerce and activity in the ship channel.”

Kirby barge 30015T, the barge damaged from the collision, was transferred to the Southwest Shipyard at Channelview, while barge MMI 3041, the overturned barge, was taken to Barbours Cut Turning Basin where lightering operations will take place.  The movement of the barges was completed without incident in less than four hours and there have been no reports of release of product into the water.  Air monitoring will be ongoing at both locations. 

Skimming vessels continue to collect a small amount of product from sheen at the initial incident site. Crews will assess shorelines for any remaining presence of product.  Boom placed in some sensitive areas over the last several days will begin to be removed once those locations are determined to have sustained no impact from the spill.

Water quality testing teams are conducting sampling and are assessing the need for shoreline remediation. Initial water quality test results are expected to be available to response officials on Thursday.  

Involved with the response include the U.S. Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, Port of Houston, Kirby Inland Marine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston County Health District, Texas Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as city and county officials who have been representing the interests of their communities, citizens and businesses. 

The incident occurred late Friday afternoon after the 755-foot tanker Genesis River and the tug Voyager collided at Lights 71-74 in the Houston Ship Channel. There were no crew injuries associated with the incident and the cause remains under investigation.

Key phone numbers:
Claims Hotline: 1-800-241-9010

Regional Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222

Impact to fish and wildlife: 979-215-8835
Air monitoring information: 281-757-3017 (available through May 15th)
Joint Information Center: 281-755-4670

Updates and resources are available at www.bayport-response.com

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2:00 p.m.
May 15, 2019