The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that a barge at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has spilled 700 to 800 gallons of diesel fuel. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report crews continue to clean up the spill, which was reported by a tug boat operator around 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Coast Guard Lieutenant Rachel Ault told The Times the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Coast Guard responded to the scene. The towing vessel Coloma L. Warner notified the Coast Guard of the spill from the Warner Provider, a barge the vessel was pushing.
Jennifer Hanson, spokeswoman for the Ports of Indiana, said the spill happened while staff aboard the barge were transferring diesel from one storage tank to another within the barge. There were no port operators involved in the spill, she said.
According to Hanson, the Ports of Indiana was not notified of the spill until 6:30 a.m. Monday.
A company was called in to deploy containment booms around the fuel, and the company also brought in two vacuum trucks to help with the cleanup. Hanson said the spill was contained to the southwest corner of the port’s east harbor arm, helped by favorable wind and wave conditions during the cleanup, which pushed the diesel into a natural collection point along a pier.
As of Monday, The Times reports no adverse effects to the environment had been observed.
According to IDEM, an investigation is ongoing and details are still being collected.