Spill Responders Evaluate New Boom for Texas Inlet Protection at Packery Channel

June 18, 2014

Packery Spill Drill

CORPUS CHRISTI – The National Spill Control School at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi demonstrated a new type of oil spill response equipment called the BoomVane at Packery Channel on Padre Island on Tuesday morning.

School Director Tony Wood said BoomVanes were used with success in response to the Deepwater Horizons disaster in 2010, and evidence of its use in Florida suggests this technology might best protect Texas’ tidal inlets.

Representatives from the oil spill regulatory and responder community, the petroleum refining and transportation industries organizations from the Coastal Bend, Austin and Galveston were on hand to evaluate the equipment’s effectiveness and potential for use in Texas inlet protection.

Booms, often released from boats, are designed to contain a spill and keep any hazardous materials from entering sensitive beach or wetland areas.

The BoomVane is able to be deployed from the shore without a boat, Wood said, using currents to set it in the water.

The National Spill Control School has been providing oil spill training programs since 1977. The school is developing an oil protection plan for the Texas coast, the Texas Tidal Inlet Protection Strategies program.