DATE: March 27, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UPDATE 25: 2nd 80’s Response Unified Command continues clean-up operations, identifies primary impacted areas
HOUSTON – A March 27 overflight at 12:30 p.m. observed that the impacted areas now include Tucker Bayou, Carpenters Bayou, Northeast San Jacinto River in the vicinity of the San Jacinto State Park and monument, Santa Anna Bayou Marsh, Old River and the water adjacent to the ITC pier.
Pockets of product still remain in the water near the Lynchburg Ferry and the San Jacinto Port. The leading edges of the product are the Boggy Bayou Basin to the east and Peggy Lake to the westS
Santa Anna Bayou Marsh is a sensitive area of concern for responders since salt marshes are more sensitive to oil and other chemical products. Marshes serve as nursery habitats as well as feeding and loafing area for fish and birds. While the marsh and shoreline in this area has not been impacted, booms have been positioned off the shoreline and on the water to prevent further impact to the basin and product from entering the marsh. Responders are also using equipment to remove product from the water.
Wildlife impacts currently include 13 fish, one frog, and one red-eared slider turtle, located deceased in Tucker Bayou. The cause is under investigation. Wildlife observers are deployed to San Jacinto State Park and Tucker Bayou. If the public encounters impacted wildlife, please do not attempt a rescue or recovery. Untrained personnel can inflict serious injury to the animal or may be injured themselves. Instead, call and report impacted wildlife to: 832-368-5379.
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has updated its fish advisory for the upper Houston Ship Channel (HSC) and now recommends no one eat any species of fish or crab from the ship channel or San Jacinto River north of State Highway 146 Fred Hartman Bridge. Volatile organic compounds in the water following the ITC fire may affect the safety of seafood harvested in the area. DSHS will continue to monitor water sampling data to determine whether any further changes are needed.
Currently, there are no known or suspected impacts to drinking water; there are no drinking water intakes on the Houston Ship Channel. For more information, visit Deer Park Public Works.
The Houston Ship Channel (HSC) is open to traffic between Tucker Bayou and HSC Light 116 through coordinated vessel movement by the Coast Guard. The San Jacinto River also remains open for vessel traffic during daylight hours only. To mitigate the potential spread of contaminated water throughout the port, decontamination sites have been identified to observe transiting vessels that may require decontamination.
Booms are deployed, covering water in the Battleship Texas area, the oyster beds located in Burnett Bay, Carpenters Bayou, Crystal Bay Marsh, Old River, Patrick Bayou, Santa Anna Bayou, the western shore of the mouth of the San Jacinto River, Tucker Bayou, and the Intercontinental Terminals Company LLC (ITC) docks.
Six of the 15 tanks are secured. Responders are currently removing product from 80-13. Once 80-13 is secure, crews will begin working on tank 80-14.
As of 7 a.m. on March 27, the on land response has removed 16,595 barrels (696,990 gallons) of oily water mix from the waterways. From the tank farm, 35,724 barrels (approximately 1.5 million gallons) of product mixed with water and firefighting foam has been removed.
Response personnel are still foaming the tank farm as needed to maintain at least a 2-foot level of foam and pumping a mix of firefighting foam, water, and remaining product from the ditch using vacuum trucks and hoses.
Updates and Resources available at:
Key Phone Numbers:
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