Saturday, an oil barge traveling down the Mississippi River near Vacherie, LA, crashed into another boat causing an oil spill and closing a 65-mile stretch of the river while officials assessed the damage, reported The Guardian.
Approximately 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled into the Mississippi River as a result of the collision, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Wildlife impacts are still relatively unknown.
“Response crews [have] strategically deployed containment boom to protect the water intakes for three parishes in the affected area,” said the U.S. Coast Guard. “All impacted water intake facilities in the affected area are taking precautionary measures to prevent contamination. As of Monday, there are no reports of contamination to drinking water.”
Parts of the river were reopened with restrictions to water traffic yesterday afternoon. The cause of the incident is under investigation.
This latest oil spill is just one of many in a growing list of recent fossil fuel related accidents. 2013 saw a record number of crude-by-rail accidents, with spilled oil totaling 1.15 million gallons—more than in the previous four decades combined. So far this year three coal-related spills have contaminated the Elk River in Charleston, WV, Dan River in Eden, NC and Kanawha River in West Virginia.
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