In March, a tugboat that was pushing a cargo ship from Puerto Rico carrying coal ash lost control near the mouth of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, causing it to crash into the jetties.
An email obtained by local news organization News4JAX from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said 9,300 tons of coal ash has spilled from the barge off the coast of Atlantic Beach. The ash came from AES’s Guayama plant.
According to the state’s pollution response team, hot weather on May 14 turned the barge 90° and blew most of the cargo hatch covers off.
On May 16, salvage teams met to figure out how to proceed. Shortly after, an “unknown amount” of the ship’s cargo had entered the water, and the ship’s owner and the towing company were looking for an environmental research firm that could help them determine how widespread the damage might be.”
On May 28, divers found “trace amounts” of Agremax on the seafloor.
AES was planning to dump the Agremax in Charlton County, Georgia, in a private landfill owned by Waste Management.
As of June 4, the Barge Bridgeport remains grounded about a mile south of the St. Johns River.