NEW ORLEANS - Salvage crews completed pumping oil Wednesday from the DM 932 barge in the Mississippi River here.
A cargo surveyor has estimated that more than 165,000 gallons of an oil and water mixture were removed from the barge tanks. The barge carrying the mixture will be taken to the American Commercial Lines facility in Harahan, La., where the surveyor will certify the volume of oil for a more accurate amount of pumped product.
Salvage operations of the DM 932 began a new phase as workers prepare to cut the wreckage into manageable pieces. Once cutting operations are complete, salvors can prepare additional gear for lifting the sections from the water.
It is likely that more oil, which could not be removed by pumping, remains in the barge and may leak during salvage operations. Assets on scene, including boom and skimmer vessels, are pre-positioned for any potential leaks from the barge and can respond rapidly to contain and remove the oil from the river.
Additionally, the safety zone in the area affected by the oil spill was modified Tuesday, reducing its scope to extend from mile marker 97 to 20, above Head of Passes, encompassing the entire width of the river. All vessels transiting within the safety zone are directed to move at their slowest safe speed to reduce wake near workers conducting oil spill cleanup. All shallow draft vessels are to stay 500 feet from oil spill containment booms.