Bakken Crude Oil Spills into the Mississippi River Once Again

Earlier this month a barge collided with a oil tank ship carrying Bakken Crude Oil in the Mississippi River near Convent, LA. The oil tank ship Bravo was unloading the crude oil at an oil terminal at the time of the collision and it is estimated 420 gallons of crude oil spilled into the river. Our own Jonathan Henderson and Scott Eustis took the trip to Convent to see the environmental impacts of the spill first-hand. Scott wrote a blog entry describing the scene he and Jonathan witnessed close to where the Bravo was moored. This isn’t the first time Bakken crude oil has spilled into the Mississippi River in Louisiana due to ship collisions. According to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), on February 22, 2014, 750-800 barrels of Bakken crude oil was released into the river due to a boat-barge collision, closing 65 miles of the river for two days. The collision and oil spill happened just west of Vacherie, LA, but the oil flowed down the river past Luling. Due to fog, the clean-up process was hindered for a couple of days and when the crews were able to clean up the spilled oil, only 95 gallons were recovered. In addition, high amounts of benzene vapors, in the air, were reported. The EPA has already issued a warning regarding oil spills in the Mississippi River via a Pollution/Situation Report published in March of this year, forewarning a spill into the river in Illinois, due to a train derailment, posed a significant risk to wildlife and public health. We know the Mississippi River cannot take much more ecological harm. The source of drinking water, for not only us but our neighbors to the North and South of us, shouldn’t be taken for granted. Authorities were quick to say the oil had dissipated at the site of the oil spill earlier this month, but Jonathan and Scott reported otherwise. It is imperative that Gulf Restoration Network keep the government, and the oil and gas industry honest and not allow them to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Bryan Clarey is a Media and Communications Intern with GRN.

Scroll to Top