Coast Guard responding to Lower Mississippi River oil spill near Natchez

Published 1:18 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to a discharge of oil from a barge on the Lower Mississippi River near Natchez.

Coast Guard Sector Lower Mississippi River received notification at approximately 10 p.m. on Saturday from Kirby Inland Marine reporting a discharge from one of their barges being transported by the towing vessel Leviticus at mile marker 339 on the Lower Mississippi River.

Pollution responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Vicksburg and Sector Lower Mississippi River have been deployed to assess the situation on scene.

Email newsletter signup

The crew of the Leviticus secured the source of the discharge and estimated that approximately 3,402 gallons of product entered the water, and an additional 1,000 gallons were discharged but contained to the deck of the barge.

Kirby Inland Marine is currently working with two Oil Spill Removal Organizations (OSROs) to clean up the discharged product. An estimated 1,000 feet of hard and sorbent boom were deployed on Sunday to contain the product in the water.

An estimated 800 gallons of oily water mixture has been recovered so far.

There have been no reports of wildlife impact.

“The Coast Guard is working diligently with Kirby Inland Marine and the OSROs to ensure a timely and effective cleanup to mitigate any environmental impacts,” said Capt. Ryan S. Rhodes, Commander of Sector Lower Mississippi River and Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the incident. “Responders from each organization are working tirelessly to assess and remove the product from the shoreline and waterway.”

The cause of the discharge is still under investigation.