By JOSEPH R. LaPlante, Standard-Times staff writer
A network of watchdogs on Buzzards Bay caught Bouchard Transportation Co. allegedly breaking the very law enacted to prevent the kind of oil spill a Bouchard barge caused three years ago, said the man who tipped off state officials to the violation. (Click photo to see dramatic scene of oil spill barge unloading after accident in '03.)
Ben Bryant, a marine policy specialist for the Coalition for Buzzards Bay, came forward yesterday as the tipster.
He told the Department of Environmental Protection that the New York company on Feb. 11 and Feb 18 transported, without tug escorts, barges carrying more than 6,000 barrels of oil, the legal limit for unescorted vessels, through the bay and the Cape Cod Canal.
"We don't mind if Bouchard knows we are watching them," Mr. Bryant said. "We have sources on the bay who are watching, and they reported to me that they saw Bouchard barges without the escort tug boats that are supposed be alongside. I called DEP."
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., when told about the latest allegations against Bouchard, said yesterday, "It is just outrageous. This is what happens when some of these private companies see there is no drive for enforcement. ... They should be fully prosecuted, for of all people, for them to do this is outrageous."
Mr. Bryant found bitter irony in the allegations.
"It is surprising that Bouchard, the company that fouled the beaches and caused so much heartache here, would be the first to break the law," he said... Read the rest of this Standard-Times story here, and comment below.
Read story about how the Canal oil spill culprit violates new spill law [here]