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U.S. Coast Guard investigating minor oil leak near Massena

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MASSENA — The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. reports a cargo vessel was secured Wednesday after releasing a minor amount of oil, according to a news release.

Officials said Thursday that the source of the leak was found and sealed, the release says. The ship left Massena and is headed to Quebec City for further repairs, it says.

In an email, Seaway spokeswoman Vicki J. Garcia said there was no environmental impact and described the amount of oil leaked as minor.

Ms. Garcia did not say in the email where the leak was on the ship, nor did she immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Officials said Captain Henry Jackman was operating the ship, which was transporting salt.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, a light sheen of oil was detected by lock crews as the vessel departed Eisenhower Lock downbound. The vessel was directed to Snell Lock, and a boom was deployed around the vessel as a precaution, the news release said.

Navigation was suspended at 6:30 p.m. and resumed at midnight while an assessment was conducted by U.S. Coast Guard and Seaway inspectors. The leak delayed three upbound and one downbound vessels, the release says.

The ship was cleared to leave the Seaway by inspectors Thursday afternoon.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s water resources manager said that the tribe was notified but that it does not appear the leak will affect the reservation.

“It wasn’t a major spill,” said Tony David. “Everything is going on as normal.”

Mr. David said a major oil spill on the St. Lawrence River could shut down the reservation’s water resources.

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