Delaware Bay Oil Spill Update

Monday, May 01, 2006
The owners/managers of the Bermuda Islander, a Netherlands registered 340-foot container vessel, have activated The O’Brien’s Group, a spill management consultant, and agreed to take over the coordination of, and accept costs relating to recovery and clean-up operations of an oil spill in the upper Delaware Bay that happened Tuesday. The owners/managers, JR Ship Management, have been cooperating with the Unified Command since Thursday afternoon. Clean up costs had initially been funded by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

The Bermuda Islander was determined to be one of the vessels of interest based on information received as part of an ongoing investigation into the source of the spill. Positive determination of the spill source pends laboratory analysis of a number of oil samples taken during the course of the investigation, including samples from the Bermuda Islander.

A response expert from The O'Brien's Group has joined the Coast Guard, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) as part of the Unified Command. Clean-up crews continue to work the shorelines in Delaware affected by the spill in Port Mahon, Kelly Island and Pickering Beach. Crews are also being deployed to Gandy's Beach in Cumberland County, N.J., where sporadic tar balls ranging from the size of a dime to that of a quarter were reported.

Skimming vessels have picked-up approximately 200-gallons of oily product out of the bay. Boom located at the Fortescue, Maurice and Nantuxent rivers in New Jersey remains staged for efficient deployment as a preventive measure. Delaware continues to maintain its preventive boom from Leipsic River south to Mispillion River and has boom staged for rapid deployment at Roosevelt Inlet. There have been no more reports of affected wildlife. The Coast Guard urges the public to avoid coming in contact with any tar balls on the beach or in the water. Brief contact with a small amount of oil, while not recommended, will do no harm. However, some people are especially sensitive to chemicals, including the hydrocarbons found in crude oil and petroleum products.

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