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Coast Guard reopens Mississippi River after oil spill closed portion

Feb. 25, 2014 at 9:34 AM

BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Coast Guard reopened the Mississippi River after a section between Baton Rouge, La., and New Orleans was closed because of a weekend oil spill.

The Coast Guard reopened the river Monday with restrictions that included a speed reduction through the area where the spill occurred, the (Baton Rouge) Advocate reported.

A E2MS 303 tank barge and the towing vessel Lindsay Ann Erickson collided Saturday, prompting the closure of 65 miles of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans after 31,500 gallons of light crude oil spilled into the waterway.

An aerial review of the area Monday did not indicate any visible oil or oil sheens in the river from the Gramercy, La., bridge toward the south, but there were some oil sheens near Vacherie, Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew Schofield said.

No oiled wildlife have been reported, he said.

Schofield said there have been no reports of drinking water contamination.

The cause of the accident was being investigated.

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