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Coast Guard: 20,000 Gallons Of Flammable Liquid Leaked Into Houston Ship Channel

Residential areas are not affected.


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Authorities responded to a report of a suspicious smell coming from the Chevron facility.

Andy Kendrick is with the Coast Guard. He says there was a release of naphtha, a flammable liquid with a gasoline-like odor. Kendrick says as much as 20,000 gallons leaked into the ship channel.

“So when we looked into it, we found that a Kirby barge there at the Chevron facility on Buffalo Bayou near Greens Bayou was potentially leaking naphtha,” Kendrick says.

The barge is operated by the Kirby Corporation. The company transports liquid products across waterways.

The Coast Guard closed a one-mile stretch of the ship channel for several hours but has since reopened it. Residential areas were not affected.  Kendrick says responders are still investigating and working to minimize environmental damage.

“We’re still gathering details trying to get that information,” he says. “We took initial actions to make sure people stayed safe so that we can figure out what’s going on.”

In an emailed statement, Chevron said that it was not their ship. The Kirby Corporation says they’re looking into the matter and did not wish to give further comment.