Local News

Jun 17, 2014 1:39 PM by Sara Donchey

Texas A&M Corpus Christi Tests New Technology in Oil Spill Drill

CORPUS CHRISTI -- It's easier to prepare for a major oil spill when you're not already knee deep in a mucky crisis.

That's what Tony Wood would tell you, the Director of the National Spill School at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

Representatives from the Coast Guard, the Texas General Land Office, the university and other oil industry types gathered in Packery Channel this morning for a "spill drill."

They all got a chance to check out the latest in oil spill recovery technology.

It's called a BoomVane. A yellow spill boom is angled in a way that uses the current to channel oil into a big silver drum, where it can be disposed of.

The BoomVane made a big debut in the Deepwater Horizon Spill off the coast of Louisiana in 2010.

Local experts are trying to figure out if this kind of technology would be helpful in our inlets, where a big spill could be fatal for local sea life.

Though major spills in the Coastal Bend aren't common, they're still possible.

In March, a significant spill happened hundreds of miles away in the Galveston Ship Channel. About 170 thousand gallons of oil spilled out into the channel--but oil still made its way to beaches on Padre Island.

That's why Wood says he'll keep looking at new ways to be safe, rather than sorry.

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