ICW AT CALCASIEU RIVER OPENED TO LIMITED VESSEL TRAFFIC
Jun 25, 2006
LAKE CHARLES, La.- June 25, 2006 -- The Coast Guard is authorizing a limited amount of tug and barge traffic to transit through the intersection of the Calcasieu Ship Channel and the Intracoastal Waterway. Forty-two tugs and barges have moved through this portion of the ICW since 5 p.m. Saturday. Five vessels are waiting to transit.
A temporary Vessel Traffic Service, staffed by Coast Guard personnel and industry stakeholders, is coordinating the tug and barge transit.
Approximately 22 miles of the Calcasieu Ship Channel remain closed due to the spread of oil from a spill at the CITGO Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex Tuesday. The Coast Guard has established a safety zone in this area and is enforcing it with patrol boats. For additional information about waterway safety zones please call the Public Information Desk at 337-708-8876.
The Calcasieu Ship Channel remains closed from light 116, north of the Interstate 210 bridge, to light 53, south of Big Lake. Prien Lake also remains closed.
Response personnel have recovered about 31, 000 barrels of oil. An estimated 30,000 barrels of oil leaked into the Indian Marais, CITGO's on-site drainage feature, and an additional 15,000 barrels of oil into the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
Current response information:
There are 30 vessels in the Coast Guard's safety zone waiting to depart the area; 10 vessels are offshore waiting to enter the port; and 49 vessels were impacted by the ICW closure.
The Cameron Parish Ferry will be allowed to continue operations while the southern boundary of the safety zone remains at light 53.
Response personnel continue to monitor the impact to the environment and wildlife. One cormorant has died and one red-eared slider turtle was transported to a wildlife rehabilitation facility for treatment.
Anyone who discovers any animal affected by the spill should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-213-5540. Members of the public should not attempt to capture any animal under any circumstances; however, they should try and identify it and report its location.
There is a health and safety bulletin on the internet at d8externalaffairs.com. Additionally, health advisories are running on local television and radio stations. The CITGO toll-free claims number is 1-800-213-5544.
Representatives from CITGO, the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary are making door-to-door visits handing out community advisories and maps of the affected area. The advisory and map can also be viewed at d8externalaffairs.com. A separate number has been established for claims related to exterior boat cleaning.
The cause of the spill remains under investigation.