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The Nation

A million gallons of carbon black feedstock oil, also known as aromatic tar, spilled into the Mississippi River channel near New Orleans after a tanker scraped the river bottom, rupturing its hull. Coast Guard Lt. Pat Galvin said that, because the oil does not float, the leak was not discovered until the Esso Puerto Rico began to list about 3 1/2 hours after the accident. The ship was bound from Baton Rouge, La., to the Netherlands. “We understand that there’s no health threat,” Exxon spokesman Les Rogers said. “We will be responsible for whatever cleanup measures are taken.”


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