More than 19,000 gallons of water contaminated after oil spill at Florida port, Coast Guard says
The Bradenton Herald September 5, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — A crude oil spill at Port Manatee, Fla., has contaminated more than 19,000 gallons of water, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The spill was reported Friday via the Environmental Protection Agency's National Response Center.
Crews contained the spill site with about 1,400 feet of boom and worked over the weekend to remove the oil-laced water from the port, the Coast Guard said. Cleanup efforts were ongoing Tuesday.
The water is being vacuumed up into a large container for disposal. Contaminated ship hulls were also being cleaned.
The Coast Guard is overseeing the investigation and cleanup of the spill. The military branch's responsibilities include investigating offshore oil spills and environmental protection compliance programs at U.S. ports.
In updates on social media, the Coast Guard said that "the source and responsible party" have not been identified but are under investigation.
"Cleanup operations will continue until we are sure the oil is removed," the Coast Guard said.
On Monday, the Coast Guard said that the cleanup had so far produced about 15 tons of oily debris and contaminated absorbent materials.
The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is being used to fund the cleanup efforts.
"We were able to get on scene before the oil spread out of the port, so that was really good," Coast Guard spokesperson Nicole Groll said Tuesday.
"Getting all the oil is our goal, and we won't stop cleaning until we do."
Oil samples were being sent for testing to help identify the source of the spill, the Coast Guard said.
SeaPort Manatee is located in northwest Manatee County at the mouth of Tampa Bay. The port handles more than 11 million tons of cargo each year, according to its website.
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