The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is on the ground monitoring the site where a damaged barge may have leaked oil slurry last month. The Natchez Democrat reports the leak happened after a barge carrying oil slurry struck one of the Mississippi River bridge’s support piers Jan. 21, resulting in a rupture of the barge’s hull.
The barge ended up at a site south of the Natchez port near St. Catherine Creek. Coast Guard crews who responded to the site were able to remove more than 700,000 gallons of oil from the damaged barge into two Magnolia Marine transport barges. But the Coast Guard estimated approximately 24,600 gallons of oil were missing, and side-scanning sonar could not locate the missing oil.