Clean up continues on the St. Johns River

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Coast Guard, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Sun State Towing are working together to continue clean up operations in the St. Johns River Friday.

An estimated 500 gallons of oil were spilled into the St. Johns River at a fuel terminal in Jacksonville while a Sun State Towing-owned tug and barge was taking on oil Saturday morning. Approximately 350 gallons of oil has been removed from the river since Saturday.

“We have had excellent cooperation and coordination between all involved agencies and the responsible party since the spill first occurred. We are fortunate here in Jacksonville to have the plans, resources and relationships in place to quickly respond to and mitigate oil spills when they do occur,” said Capt. Paul Thomas, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. “I’m particularly grateful to the concerned citizens who have helped us identify areas and wildlife impacted by the spill.”

Clean up efforts

Clean-up efforts are currently focused where additional recoverable oil has been located. Experts from the Coast Guard, Florida DEP and Jacksonville Pollution Control Inc., are working together to determine the best method to recover the oil without doing additional harm to the environment. In some cases, natural cleansing is the best option. Florida DEP is overseeing the cleanup operation of JPC, which has been hired by the responsible party.

Investigation

The investigation into the exact cause of the spill continues. Although Sun State Towing has accepted responsibility for the spill in order to expedite the clean-up effort, the investigation may reveal that responsibility lies with other parties as well.

To report affected wildlife, please call 1-888-404-3922.

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