After the success of the operation, the Captain of the Port of Houston-Galveston has opened the Houston Ship Channel without restrictions and vessel traffic has returned to normal operations. Namely, 41 vessels were awaiting inbound passage through the channel and 24 are awaiting outbound passage.
Lt. Cmdr. Muhammad Ali Cochran, federal on-scene coordinator, commented that:
The successful removal process is a credit to precise planning and risk assessment by the various agencies, barge owner and contract personnel who responded to this incident. I am pleased that we have been able to safely remove these barges from the incident site and facilitate the return of normal commerce and activity in the ship channel
Kirby barge 30015T, the barge damaged from the collision, was transferred to the Southwest Shipyard at Channel view, while barge MMI 3041, the overturned barge, was taken to Barbours Cut Turning Basin where lightering operations will take place.
The transfer of the barges was completed without incident in less than four hours and there have been no reports of release of product into the water. Air monitoring will also take place at both locations.
Currently, skimming vessels continue to collect a small amount of product from sheen at the initial incident site, while crews will assess shorelines for any remaining presence of product.
Booms have also been placed in some sensitive areas over the last several days, and will now begin to be removed when those locations are determined to have sustained no impact from the spill.
In addition, water quality testing teams are carrying out sampling and are assessing the need for shoreline remediation. Initial water quality test results will probably be available to response officials on May 16.
The incident happened on May 10, when the 755-foot tanker Genesis River and the tug Voyager collided at Lights 71-74 in the Houston Ship Channel. There were no crew injuries associated with the incident and the cause remains under investigation.