Around 4:30 Monday morning a barge carrying liquid asphalt ran aground in the James River. It happened on the Chesterfield side of the Chesterfield-Henrico border, just upstream of Osbourne Landing in Henrico County.
The barge was carrying about 120,000 gallons of liquid asphalt, some of which has leaked into the James River. Emergency Crews have the leak contained at this time but it could take days to clean-up the entire mess.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the US Coast Guard are helping local crews with the mess.
With the winds and strong current on that river it's amazing it dosn't happen more often. It's a shame it happened but it could be worse. It's weird that it happens at a place like osborne twice when you would think the cut channels would be the hardest part to navigate.
Where did you see that juicy tidbit?! I'm surprised some want to make excuses for people polluting our natural resources! Easy or hard - I don't care. It's not easy shipping hazardous materials via large trucks but I'm not going to go soft on a driver who jack-knifes his load of acetone into the river anymore than a barge operator who runs aground. Freakin dumbasses if what they are. Especially a company that does it twice in a year! The tug industry has a very good safety record so it is an unusual event worthy of significant public scrutiny when things go horribly awry.
It is a sad thing, but it is rare. I have no idea of actual numbers, but considering the amount of traffic the river carries (commercial), day and night, I would guess the stats reflect a good safety record.
Still, a very bad thing. The last cleanup was terrible. There was layer of fuel on the river for miles and lasted for weeks. I don't know how they "clean" this up. Oil on the top. Hardened asphalt in that location plus all that traveled as it cooled. I expect an oily film for quite some time.
More than likely they will get a hefty fine and that is it. The captain will more than likely lose his job also. But this is probably all that will take place. Safeguards probably put in place to keep this from happening after a Root Cause Analysis. Who knows the excuse, all the technology today should keep this from happening. But we all know accidents do happen no matter how hard you try to stop them. Just one of those things.