Oil Spill: Tanker Collision Spills 450,000 Gallons in Port Arthur, Texas
Big Oil has a shameful history. That’s why in this series we arehighlighting some of its mostrecent disastrous oil spills and raising awareness of the devastation that will occur if the industry is allowed to drill in the Arctic and off our coasts. Join us in the effort to protect our special places from drilling!
The Eagle Otome, one of Exxon Mobil’s chartered oil tankers, collided with an outbound vessel towing two barges in the harbor of Port Arthur, Texas on July 25, 2009. 450,000 gallons of oil spilled into the water, contaminating a 2 mile radius in the Port Arthur waterway. The barge that collided with te Eagle Otome was carrying a heavy load of chemicals, adding a great risk for further contamination.The Coast Guard closed the waterway to thru traffic for cleanup operations, harming businesses dependent on ship traffic.
This was the largest spill Texas had seen in 16 years. The magnitude of the spill called for an evacuation of all residents within 28 blocks of the spill; a great inconvenience to say the least. The toxic spill oiled birds, threatened lakes, marshes, sensitive wildlife sanctuaries and wetlands around the Port Arthur area. These areas are considered extra sensitive because they are home to juvenile shrimp, fin fish, and many bird species.
-- Jessie Tucker