HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston marine services firm has agreed to pay $4.9 million in civil penalties to settle federal claims resulting from a March 2014 collision between its tugboat and a ship that spilled nearly 170,000 gallons of oil into the Houston Ship Channel.
A Justice Department statement says Kirby Inland Marine also pledged to make operational improvements throughout its fleet under a consent decree filed Tuesday in a Houston federal court.
According to court documents, the Kirby tow boat Miss Susan was pushing two 300-foot oil barges in the channel on a foggy day when it tried to cross the channel in Galveston Bay in front of a 585-foot bulk cargo ship, the Summer Winds. The ship struck the lead oil barge, spilling heavy marine fuel oil into the bay.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.