Monday, June 28, 2010

EPA May Send Divers to Assess Threat from Sunken Lake Champlain Tugboat

While some remain skeptical about the nature of the threat, the tugboat which sank almost 47 years ago could still be holding up to 14,000 gallons of diesel fuel in its tanks.

That has federal officials, environmentalists and residents who know about it concerned.

The threat of what could happen if those tanks were to fail and belch fuel into the 120-mile-long lake that separates Vermont and upstate New York drew an expedition last week of federal environmental officials and engineers to the lake. They sent a remotely operated vehicle onto the McAllister to try to determine if there's fuel that could leak out.

"It's in such good condition after all these years," said Don Dryden, a commercial diver who was there to provide technical expertise about the condition of the tugboat for McAllister Towing and Transportation of New York, the successor to the company that owned the tug in 1963.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency will analyze last week's findings and perhaps send divers into the tug later this summer to determine how much fuel is in the tanks. If necessary, the remaining fuel would be pumped out, said Paul Kahn, a coordinator for the EPA working at the scene.

Dryden isn't convinced there's still fuel in the tanks. "Oil being lighter than water, in all probability this thing was empty 30 or 40 years ago," he said.

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Diving Discoveries said...

I hope the tanks are empty.
I think the whole word is getting fed up with oil spills.

Neutral Dive Gear said...

Ain't that the truth.

Neutral Dive Gear said...

Diving Discoveries,

p.s. Dig your site! We've added a link to you in our blog roll.