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Shortly before noon on March 30,a storage tank on a platform in the northernmost lobe of Galveston Bay began overflowing because of an equipment malfunction.At least 160 gallons of light crude oil poured into the water and spread to nearby marshes."They are our first line of defense at breaking down the remaining oil, and they are on the job." The oil spill was the largest in the bay since a 1990 collision between a tanker and three barges released about 700,000 gallons of heavy crude into the Houston Ship Channel, just south of Redfish Island.What's more, the incident was larger than all spills combined for Galveston Bay in any given year since 1998, according to data from the Texas General Land Office, the agency that responds to spills in state waters.The land office received 284 reports of oil spills in the bay in 1998, the first year of the state agency's data.That number peaked at 397 incidents in 2001 and since has trended downward, with a low of 184 spills in 2011.
"We have gone from a culture 30 years ago where (if) you spilled something you didn't tell anybody, where today if you spill something, regardless of the amount, you self-report," he said, adding the state is getting better and quicker at responding to spills.In the first days after the March 22 spill, Quigg's research team took water samples near where the Summer Wind, a bulk carrier as long as a football field, collided with a barge, causing heavy bunker fuel oil to empty into the lower end of the bay.The winds and waves pushed the black goo into the Gulf of Mexico instead of the fragile estuaries ringing the bay. Coast Guard reported that at least 39 dolphins, 17 turtles and 331 birds had died in and around Galveston and Matagorda Island after the spill.Acme Markets' president Dan Sanders (2nd from RIGHT) is holding court in the Acme Super Market in the Concord Town Center in Concordville with his management team of (from left) Ajay Kanwar, VP of Merchandising; Tom Miller, Senior VP of Operations, and Don Croce, VP of Sales (right). ( Clem Murray / Staff Photographer )Ailing Acme Markets, one of the Philadelphia area's largest employers with more than 13,000 local workers at more than 100 supermarkets, will be taken over by a group of private equity firms and real estate investors, its owners said this morning. "announced today a definitive agreement under which it will sell its Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market stores and related Osco and Sav-on in-store pharmacies" for 0 million in cash plus the assumption of .2 billion in debt.The sellers hope to close the sale later this winter. Buyers are a group led by former Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management LP and including Kimco Realty Corporation, Klaff Realty LP, Philadelphia-based Lubert-Adler Partners and Schottenstein Real Estate Group.