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500 gallons of fuel spill into Pascagoula River

Over the weekend a mechanical failure on one of Ingalls’ destroyer ships caused approximately 500 gallons of diesel fuel to be spilled into the Pascagoula River.

In a statement, Ingalls Shipbuilding said that watch-standers onboard the destroyer Paul Ignatius identified a fuel spill near the ship on Saturday afternoon.

“Ingalls’ response team deployed the necessary equipment and personnel to safely manage the event and protect the environment,” the statement reads. “Clean up and remediation efforts begin immediately, and the spilled fuel was largely contained within a containment boom which is deployed around every ship dockside at Ingalls.”

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the U.S. Coast Guard were immediately notified after the incident and Nick Hatten with MDEQ said clean up efforts lasted into Sunday. The spilled fuel has been largely contained and Hatten said this is a direct result of Ingalls already having the proper equipment and personnel on hand.

Fines are traditionally levied by the upper MDEQ administration, however, Hatten said he did not foresee any fines being issued due to the preventative measures that were put in place to counteract a potential spill ahead of time.

“Anytime a vessel is being worked on, the boom is already placed in the water, it acts as a countermeasure to contain any spills that might happen,” Hatten said. “The ship being worked on had a 24-inch polypropylene boom that was already in the water. So, it was easy to deploy around the ship and contain the fuel.”

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