Vitter, Landry applaud derelict barge removal
U.S. Sen. David Vitter and Rep. Jeff Landry applauded the news that Hercules 61 Rig is being removed from the Charenton Canal in St. Mary Parish.
The rig was purchased in a bankruptcy court auction last week by LAD Salvage of Morgan City, who is coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center and their specialized Salvage and Emergency Response Team on removal to a scrap yard.
“It’s a shame that we had to resort to a bankruptcy auction to force the Corps to do something about the barge, but the good news is that the canal is well on its way to being fully operational,” said Vitter. “I’m going to keep pushing to reform the way the Corps does business to prevent this kind of foot-dragging in the future.”
“It comes as no surprise that the federal government was unable to act quickly on this matter and – if they had – they were going to charge the taxpayers millions,” Landry said. “The removal proves that thinking creatively and working with the private sector not only saves taxpayer money but also generates revenue.”
The rig and the canal reportedly will be restored to 100 percent capacity within two weeks.
Effective April 8, 2011, Sen. Vitter placed a hold on Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, President Obama’s nominee to be chief of engineers/commanding general for the Army Corps of Engineers. Bostick would replace Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp. Vitter said he would release the hold on the nominee when the barge has been removed and a list of other requests he made to the Corps have been met. The hold is still in place.