The Apex barges spill Galveston Bay, July 1990
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A major spill of 692,000 gallons of catalytic feedstock oil resulted when the Greek tankship Shinoussa collided with and sank the rank barge Apex 3417 and damaged the tank barge Apex 3503 in the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Bay, Texas on July 28,1990. The owner of the barges took immediate action to contain and recover the oil and salvage the sunken barge, but on the sixth day withdrew from the cleanup. The Coast Guard On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) federalized the cleanup and continued for another 15 days, completing the cleanup on August 17, 1990. Bioremediation microbes were used for the first time by the OSC to treat oiled marsh areas. Visually, the treatment appeared successful. Several problems were encountered and lessons learned during the major cleanup operation.