Sunken barge released 5-10 gallons of fuel into Tennessee River; owner will not face state violations despite third incident

Sunken barge released 5-10 gallons of fuel into Tennessee River; owner will not face state violations despite third incident

August 28th, 2019 by Mark Pace in Local Regional News

People work to contain a spill caused by a crane attached to a truck that fell into the Tennessee River along the North Shore Tuesday, August 27, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A barge collapsed on the Tennessee River off Manufacturers Road.

Photo by Erin O. Smith /Times Free Press.

This story was updated Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at 11 p.m. with more information.

Gallery: Barge collapses

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A barge that sunk in the Tennessee River on Tuesday released between 5 and 10 gallons of diesel fuel into the water, according to Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation personnel who were on scene.

It is at least the third such incident for the barge's owner, Tony Carter, owner of Crystal Springs Builders. The company specializes in marine construction and raising sunken ships.

However, the state agency — which typically handles citations, violations and enforcement actions for such oil spills — will not be investigating further "as no additional environmental impacts were observed," according to TDEC spokeswoman Kim Schofinski.

Local emergency responders contained the release with booms. The U.S. Coast Guard is working with Carter on a removal plan for the barge, truck and crane.

Carter's rig also released 5-10 gallons of fuel at the same location in November 2016 when it flipped into the river. The incident was considered minor, was immediately addressed and no further action was needed, according to TDEC.

In 2015, one of his trucks sank to the bottom of Harrison Bay after unexplained circumstances led to the boat sinking and causing minor damage to park property.

Carter declined to comment.

Contact Mark Pace with questions, comments, concerns or story tips at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at Chattanoo gaOutdoorsTFP.


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