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Enquirer: Barge Company Blames "Human Error" For Fertilizer Spill Into Ohio River

The chemical spill happened last December.

Ohio River. File photo.

(Cincinnati, Oh.) – No fine has yet been levied against the company who owned a barge that released more than 400,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer into the Ohio River.

The barge was moored on the river near the Anderson Ferry when it cracked on December 19, 2017.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Memphis-based Southern Towing has released information about the spill, which it says was caused by “human error.” The company says a tankerman at the facility was unloading the fertilizer in a way that the weight of the load became concentrated in the middle of the barge, leading the barge to buckle.

Kentucky’s Department of Environmental Protection issued three environmental violation notices against Southern Towing in January, however, the company has not yet been fined.

Southern Towing's response to Kentucky denies the company violated the state’s water statutes, according to The Enquirer.

The chemical spill forced the Louisville Water Company to take measures to ensure that the chemical plume did not enter the city’s water supply. The city-owned utility sent Southern Towing a bill for more than $41,000 for expenses related to the safety steps.

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