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Crackdown planned on waste oil storage

| Saturday, Aug. 30, 2003

The Coast Guard and the state are cracking down on companies improperly storing waste oil products along waterways following a leak from a sunken barge in the Monongahela River.

The Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are partnering to identify waterside facilities and abandoned barges that might be storing waste oil products inappropriately.

Improperly stored waste products "may be especially vulnerable during ice and high-water periods," the Coast Guard said Friday.

Last week, officials founds an oil sheen flowing into the Mon from a sunken barge at the Bright Star Marine Facility in lower Speers, Washington County.

Coast Guard and DEP investigators found a marine facility had another potential hazard: A barge in poor condition that was moored there had about 5,000 gallons of improperly stored waste oil, according to the Coast Guard.

The owner was removing the oil, but the Coast Guard said other vessels may have pumped their waste oil into that barge through uncovered hatches, which since have been repaired.

The oil escaping from the sunken barge "was determined to pose limited risk to the environment as the oil proved residual from various equipment and tools that were on board and currently submerged," the Coast Guard said.

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