Back to top

$15.3 M Settlement Proposed for Oil Spill Case in Galveston Bay, Texas

DEC. 20, 2021 — On Dec. 3, 2021, a $15.3 million settlement was proposed in Federal District Court to restore natural resources damaged from the 2014 Texas City Y oil spill in Galveston Bay, Texas.

Cleanup workers hauling pollution boom.
Workers deployed boom around the site of the oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel near the Texas City Dike on March 24, 2014. More than 71,000 feet of boom was deployed in response to the oil spill. Image credit: U.S. Coast Guard.

The Texas City Y oil spill occurred on March 22, 2014 during a vessel collision between a bulk carrier and a tank barge. The incident spilled an estimated 168,000 gallons of intermediate fuel oil into Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. More than 160 miles of Texas shoreline were oiled. Scientists identified impacts to a range of natural resources including birds, shorelines, and bottlenose dolphins. Outdoor recreational activities were also impacted.

In 2014, this was the first large oil spill response following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and drew upon many lessons learned from that response. NOAA and our partners responded quickly and provided scientific support to the U.S. Coast Guard, including trajectory forecasts, shoreline assessment, data management, overflight tracking of the oil, weather forecasts, and assessments of natural resources at risk. 

“We are pleased to join our co-trustees to restore vital habitats, dolphins, birds and recreational areas injured by this oil spill,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service in a Department of Justice press release. “Local communities and economies depend on resilient coastal ecosystems, and we look forward to working with the public on projects to restore them.”

If approved, this proposed settlement will go towards projects that restore bottlenose dolphins, birds, shoreline habitats, and outdoor recreational opportunities impacted by pollution during the Texas City Y oil spill. 

Public comments are welcome through Jan. 2, 2021, on the Department of Justice Website.

For further information, please contact Kevin.Kirsch@noaa.gov.

Last updated Thursday, January 6, 2022 11:58am PST