UPDATED 10:30am Central, March 24: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Office announced that it dispatched “investigators and staff from its Environmental Protection Division to the Galveston Bay oil spill site,” according to a release submitted to Breitbart Texas. “The Office of the Attorney General is on the ground to help determine the loss to local businesses as a result of the spill and – at the appropriate time – will do all we can to recoup losses to local businesses,” General Abbott stated.
UPDATED 8:30pm Central, March 23: Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his office has “directed all necessary state resources to assist with the cleanup of oil that has spilled into the Houston Ship Channel after a collision between vessels,” according to a release submitted to Breitbart Texas.
“The State of Texas is deploying all necessary resources to respond to this situation, and will continue to do so to ensure the spill is contained and cleaned up with as little impact as possible to the environment and commerce,” Gov. Perry said. “We are thankful to the responders and personnel who are working diligently to respond to this situation.”
HOUSTON, TEXAS–The travel of 60 ships, including several cruise ships and a line of tankers, was impeded on Sunday after a tanker carrying up to one million gallons of crude oil spilled into the Galveston Bay, according to the Associated Press (AP). The spill occurred nearly 700 feet offshore, near the Texas City dike. The Coast Guard told the AP that six individuals aboard the barge were injured.
The incident has currently been blamed on a collision with another vessel about the Houston Ship Channel. According to current AP reports, Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penoyer estimated that 168,000 gallons of oil were spilled. Crews are currently working in the Houston Ship Channel to clean up the leak–in the interim; ships are not permitted to travel through in either direction, according to emergency directives.
Once the cleanup process is complete, the large boat will be drained of remaining oil and assessed at a shipyard, according to wire reports.
Several government and private groups will assist the Texas’ General Land Office in investigating the spill. Texas’ General Land Office spokesman Jim Suydam told the AP that the “sticky, gooey, thick” oil will be difficult to clean up.
Businesses in the area are also being impacted by the leak, according to the AP. 58-year-old Lee Rilat owns Lee’s Bait and Tackle near the Texas City dike, a fishing area that was closed down as a result of the oil leak. He claimed to have lost significant business over the weekend. “This would be the first spring deal, the first real weekend for fishing,” Rilat told the AP. He added, however, that he wasn’t too concerned about the spill. “It’ll be fine,” he said. “Mother Nature takes care of its own,” he said.
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Sam Danus told the AP that crews are currently attempting to determine whether or not native animals had been negatively impacted on a large scale.
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