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Three environmental contractors responded to a spill of an estimated 2,500 gallons of fuel oil into the Mississippi River near Gramercy, the Coast Guard reported late Thursday (Jan. 4).

The spill occurred during a transfer of fuel oil from the Petroleum Fuel and Terminal Mt. Airy on the river’s east bank to a barge tethered at mile marker 144.6. The incident was reported to the Coast Guard’s Incident Management Division in New Orleans at 8:24 a.m. Thursday by the agency’s National Response Center, which is required to be contacted by businesses when spills occur.

The terminal is owned by Apex Oil Company, Inc., and has a storage capacity of 2.5 million barrels. It handles No. 6 fuel oil, liquid asphalt and light oil, according to its website.

OMI Environmental Solutions and Environmental Safety and Health were hired to respond to the spill and deployed eight boats equipped with skimming packages, boom and absorbents. The Center for Toxicology & Environmental Health LLC also was hired to conduct air monitoring, according to a news release issued by the Coast Guard.

In addition to the Coast Guard, officials with the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office and the state Departments of Wildlife & Fisheries and Environmental Quality were investigating the spill.

By Mark Schleifstein mschleifstein@nola.com,
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

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