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Pilot Involved in Mississippi River Spill Not Fully Licensed | cialis online

Pilot Involved in Mississippi River Spill Not Fully Licensed

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The pilot of a tugboat pushing a barge that spilled thousands of gallons of toxic fuel oil into the Mississippi River near New Orleans did not have a proper license. The oil spill occurred early yesterday morning when a 600-foot tanker and the barge loaded with fuel collided. The barge split in half, spilling more than 419,000 gallons of tar-like oil into the river.

The barge’s owner, American Commercial Lines, immediately took responsibility for the oil spill. During a news conference in New Orleans, Coast Guard spokesman Stephen Lehmann said the tugboat operator pushing the barge had only an apprentice mate’s license, and no one else on the barge had a license. To pilot a tugboat, the operator should have had a master’s license, Lehmann said. The tug is operated by DRD Towing Co., LLC, of Harvey of Harvey, Louisiana.

Officials from the state environmental department were working to contain the spill to prevent it from going further down river. Contractors have set up oil booms at several of the major openings into an environmentally sensitive marsh and a National Wildlife Refuge. The impact the oil spill had on wildlife is not yet apparent.

New Orleans and surrounding parishes draw their fresh water supply from the Mississippi River. For now, officials say water is safe to drink. Communities downriver from the spill have shut off their intakes to prevent the oil from contaminating supplies. Testing of water in New Orleans has turned up no contaminants. However, residents in the Algiers section of the city have been urged to use water in moderation, until independent testing confirms the city’s findings.

According to “The Times-Picayune”, The Coast Guard has closed the river from mile marker 97 in New Orleans to Southwest Pass –where the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The closure is meant to help contain the spill. The river could be closed for days or weeks as workers try to remove the oil from the river. The Port of New Orleans expects to loose $100,000 for every day the river is closed. That figure, however, does not take into account losses sustained by private businesses such as terminal operators and tug boat operators.

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