Crews Begin Foam Cleanup in North Carolina

FORT MACON, N.C. – The unified command continues to move forward today in the cleanup of packaging foam that washed up on the shore Wednesday between Cape Lookout, N.C., and the North Carolina-Virginia border.

30 workers from Moran Environmental Recovery deployed from Davis, N.C. to Cape Lookout to begin picking up the foam. 20 workers are in Buxton, N.C., and about 20 more were expected to arrive today.

The unified command has established a community hotline at (252) 240-8144. People are encouraged to call this number to report heavily affected areas and to voice concerns.

The Hapag-Lloyd vessel Paris Express encountered severe weather Sunday evening in the Atlantic while en route from Savannah to Norfolk, resulting in the loss of 21 containers overboard, including some containing packing foam. None of the cargo involved was listed as hazardous material, although the foam could potentially be harmful to pristine National Seashore areas, including critical nesting habitat for endangered turtles and various bird species in the two National Seashores.

The responsible party, Hapag-Lloyd, acted promptly and engaged a contractor, Moran Environmental Recovery, to take the necessary action to remove the debris immediately. Hapag-Lloyd is working closely in this clean-up effort with the Unified Command, which includes the National Park Service and United States Coast Guard. Other agencies involved include the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commision, Carteret County Emergency Management, Dare County Emergency Management, Hyde County Emergency Management, and Currituck County Emergency Management.

Packaging foam was removed from nearly ten miles of Outer Banks coastline today as cleanup crews scoured the National Seashores at Cape Lookout and Hatteras Island, N.C.

The National Park Service, Hapag-Lloyd and Moran Environmental Recovery will continue to work together to finish cleaning beaches affected by packing material that began washing ashore Wednesday.

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