State News

Jun 2, 2014 11:39 AM by Associated Press

Federal Hearings This Week on Galveston Ship Channel Spill

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board are opening a week of hearings into the collision of a barge and a freighter that spilled nearly 170,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Houston Ship Channel earlier this year.

No injuries were reported from the March 22 collision on the busy waterway between Texas City and Galveston. But the spilled oil coated the shoreline of the southern end of Galveston Bay and flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. Oil traces were found more than 200 miles down the coast on North Padre Island.

The accident also snarled traffic for five days on the ship channel, which serves the nation's largest petrochemical complex.

The hearings starting Monday aren't intended to determine blame and no conclusions are to be released immediately.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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