LOUISVILLE, KY (April 7, 2023) – Work crews resumed operations this morning by continuing to pump methanol from the stranded tank barge into a nearby receiver tank barge while continuously monitoring for signs of spills to the environment. In the early afternoon, the salvage experts determined that enough methanol had been transferred to safely pull the stranded tank barge off the McAlpine Dam structure.
Utilizing several of the available marine salvage assets on scene, the tank barge was successfully removed as of 3 p.m. this afternoon; work is continuing to stabilize the recovered tank barge and transfer remaining methanol from the recovered tank barge into the receiver barge – safely away from the dam. At no time during the recovery operations has there been any indication that the stranded tank barge’s cargo holds are compromised or that any methanol was released into the environment.
Through this afternoon, all air and water testing results continue to show no detectable methanol in the air or water. A total of 243 air quality samples were taken between 6 a.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. today. All tests continue to show no detections of methanol. In total, more than 2,700 air quality samples have been taken since the incident occurred; all showing no detection of methanol.
Water testing on samples collected from five locations below the McAlpine Dam on Thursday, April 6 again showed no detectable presence of methanol in the Ohio River.
The stranded dry cargo barge, carrying a load of corn, remains stranded on the dam. The on-scene salvage experts will continue recovery efforts on the corn barge through the weekend. As this barge poses no threat to the environment, the Unified Command, comprised of the United States Coast Guard, United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet - Department for Environmental Protection, Louisville Metro Emergency Services, and Ingram Barge Company anticipates being stood down in the coming days.
Louisville Water‘s drinking water is safe and was not ever threatened by this event. The barge incident on March 28 had no impact on local water quality as the incident occurred downriver from Louisville Water.
The U.S. Coast Guard again suspended downbound river traffic through the lock as of 0700 this morning to help protect the ongoing recovery operations; the river is expected to reopen to downbound traffic during the overnight hours. Upbound river traffic is not affected.
The safety of the public and first responders remain the top priority.
To read the full daily summary, visit www.McAlpineInfo.com, a website updated by the Ingram Marine Group to keep the community informed.
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