Lightering of the product from the damaged barge, which spilled the gasoline blend, was expected to finish Monday and the barge will be taken to a local shipyard upon completion, Beuerman said. Lightering of the second barge, which overturned in the waterway, will not begin until at least Tuesday, and “it’s premature to say when that might start or how long that might take,” he said.
The unified command had deployed 20,550 feet of product containment and absorbent boom to limit the spread of spilled product, according to the statement. The booms were placed around the incident itself and scattered at seven locations down the bay’s shoreline that were viewed as economic or environmental priorities, Beuerman said.
Response officials have continually conducted air monitoring through the area, and about 2,700 samples had been taken an analyzed as of noon Sunday, none of which “exceeded the established action levels,” Craig Kartye of the Texas General Land Office’s oil spill prevention program said, according to The Houston Chronicle. CTEH’s air monitoring recorded five detections of volatile organic compounds and two detections of benzene during a 12-hour period beginning noon Sunday, but subsequent readings were below detection level, according to preliminary air monitoring summaries.
Eight skimmers were in operations as of noon Sunday as were 334 federal, state and local response personnel engaged in both planning and implementing the response and clean-up operations, the unified command said.
The navigation safety zone that was expanded Sunday morning to include the area from the western shores of Lower Galveston Bay, extending south to Eagle Point in Saint Leon, east up to but not including the Houston Ship Channel, then north to but not including the Bayport Ship Channel was “slightly expanded during the afternoon,” Beuerman said.