Barge Spills Naphtha in Houston Ship Channel

Some 23,000 gallons of naphtha (PTN) were released in the upper Houston Ship Channel from a barge docked at the Chevron facility on Wednesday.

The United States Coast Guard was notified of the incident through a National Response Center at 11:46 a.m. Shortly after, a representative from Kirby Inland Marine reported the allision that impacted cargo tank number one on the starboard side of the barge.

The Chevron facility where the barge was docked issued a shelter in place for their facility and the Coast Guard shut down a 1.5 mile section of the upper ship channel from Light 152 to Greens Port Industrial Park.

“Upon consultation with the NOAA support coordinator, their models showed that most of the product would evaporate in approximately three hours,” said Cmdr. Eric Carrero, the federal on-scene coordinator for the Coast Guard. “We are continuing to ensure the safety of personnel and the environment.”

The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies and responders are working together to ensure the safety of people in the area, responders and to minimize any impact to the environment.

A shelter-in-place was lifted and the Houston Ship Channel was reopened at 2:08 p.m.

The barge was carrying approximately 30,000 barrels of naphtha, or more than 1 million gallons, and the impacted tank had approximately 5,000 barrels.

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