American Commercial to pay $2 million to preserve New Orleans habitat after spill


Jeffersonville, Ind.-based American Commercial Barge Line LLC has agreed to acquire and preserve 649 acres of woodland wildlife habitat near New Orleans and pay more than $2 million in damages resulting from an oil spill from one of its barges, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) and the Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (OSPRA), the penalties were added to $1.32 million previously paid for damage assessment and restoration planning costs.

The U.S. and Louisiana concurrently filed a civil complaint with a proposed consent decree, seeking damages and costs due to American Commercial’s July 2008 discharge of approximately 282,828 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into the Mississippi River upriver of New Orleans. The complaint alleges that the spill resulted from a collision that occurred when the American Commercial tug Mel Oliver, which was pushing a barge upriver, veered directly in front of the MV Tintomara, an ocean-going tanker ship sailing downriver. Read the entire story.