Coast Guard continues to monitor Georgetown oil spill response

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Coast Guard continued to monitor the cleanup of an oil spill on the Sampit River in Georgetown, S.C., Thursday.

ArcelorMittal Steel Mill, the facility which took responsibility for the spill, contacted the oil spill response organization, HEPACO, Wednesday evening to immediately begin the containment and recovery of the product.

ArcelorMittal is currently working to pin point the source of the oil and identify how much was released.

A HEPACO environmental response organization contractor places sorbant boom in the water at ArcelorMittal Steel Mill in Georgetown, S.C., Thursday, March 20, 2014, while responding to an oil spill there. Coast Guard pollution responders are continuing to monitor the response. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)

A HEPACO environmental response organization contractor places sorbant boom in the water at ArcelorMittal Steel Mill in Georgetown, S.C., Thursday, March 20, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)

Upon arrival at the mill Wednesday evening, Coast Guard pollution responders discovered a portion of the containment boom, which always remains around the facility to protect the Sampit River from any residual pollutant, had gotten caught on a piling, creating a gap in the containment system and allowing the spilled oil to escape into the Sampit River.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, more than 500 gallons of oil-water mixture has been recovered. A 50-foot section of new containment boom has been placed in the area where the gap occurred and additional 100 feet of new sorbent and hard boom has been placed at the drain pipe where the oil exited the facility.

HEPACO is continuing to recover oil. There have been no reports of injured wildlife.

Also responding are the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Click the photo for more.

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