Grounded barge cleanup winding down in Columbia
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
CAMAS, Wash. (AP) -- A Washington state Ecology Department spokeswoman says the agencies that have overseen a nearly seven-month effort to clear a derelict barge from the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., are looking at a milestone.
Spokeswoman Kim Schmanke says Thursday's schedule calls for removal of the final section of the Dave Crockett.
The 431-foot converted World War II-era Liberty Ship partially sank in January while moored near the Washington shore. The vessel buckled due to structural instability and about 70 gallons of oil reached the river. The Coast Guard, Washington Ecology Department and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality have overseen the cleanup.
Eventually a metal wall, or cofferdam, was built around the barge to trap pollutants while crews dismantled it. Work will continue for several more weeks while divers dredge the river bottom inside the cofferdam to remove any remaining contamination.