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Fuel from sunken tug raises fears of environmental damage in BC

Oct 14, 2016 03:57 PM

Nathan E. Stewart reportedly had up to 50,000 gallons in its tanks

Courtesy Vancouver Sun

(BELLA BELLA, British Columbia) — The grounding of an articulated tug-barge in Seaforth Channel has local indigenous groups and activists concerned about the impact on marine food sources and future petroleum transport in the area, the Vancouver Sun reported.

The tug Nathan E. Stewart and barge DBL 55, owned by Kirby Corp., ran aground at Edge Reef just after 0100 on Thursday. The petroleum barge was empty, but the tug quickly began leaking diesel into the water. It had about 50,000 gallons of fuel at the beginning of its trip. Boom has been placed around the tug by Western Canada Marine Response Corp.

The area is part of the Voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone, but Nathan E. Stewart is small enough that it is permitted to travel within the Inside Passage, the Sun reported. The tug also holds a waiver that allows it to operate without Canadian pilots on board.

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