Houston, TX — Cleanup continues in response to an oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel that resulted in the release of approximately 168,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil.
The Unified Command is working closely with the Vessel Traffic Service, paired with assessments of the Houston Ship Channel, to determine when partial vessel traffic can resume. This could include re-opening the Bolivar Ferry to alleviate impact to the Bolivar residents.
As of 6 a.m., there are 43 outbound vessels and 38 inbound vessels in the queue for transit. Once the channel has been determined safe to navigate and will not spread oil contaminants, a prioritization list will be established to determine the entry order of vessels.
More than 69,000 feet of containment boom has now been deployed on waters surrounding the incident site and along sensitive shorelines in the area. An additional 192,500 feet of boom has been staged for possible deployment and another 20,680 feet has been ordered.
Changing currents, winds and weather conditions have necessitated response officials to further extend containment and oil recovery plans into the Gulf of Mexico and south along Galveston Island.
Approximately 27 response vessels are actively working to skim and recover oil with more than 380 personnel actively on-scene and another 200 responding in the incident command post.
As of Monday morning there have been three confirmed captured and three deceased birds. Experts from U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Texas Parks and Wildlife are responding with stabilization trailers, and are staged along the Texas City Dike and the Bolivar Peninsula. The public is reminded to refrain from capturing any potentially affected wildlife and is urged to contact Wildlife Response Service at 1-888-384-2000.
Air monitoring continues throughout the general area, although readings have consistently shown no reason for health concerns.