Puerto Rican Oil Spill Cleanup Continues

GUANICA, Puerto Rico – The Unified Command announced Monday the continued efforts in the ongoing recovery of oil products, and protecting the sensitive areas in the southwest coast of Puerto Rico from Guayanilla Bay to La Parguera.

The crew of an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, along with a marine pollution investigator conducted an overflight Monday to verify the status of the mystery spill and clean up operations.

“So far contractors have recovered 102 cubic yards, or five full-size dumpsters, of product and contaminated debris, said Coast Guard Capt. James E. Tunstall, Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the mystery spill. “We will continue to monitor the southwest coast of Puerto Rico until the Unified Command certifies the affected areas have been satisfactorily cleaned.”

Javier Velez Arocho, Secretary, Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico has prohibited hunting activity for safety and security reasons in the area of Punta Ventana, Guayanilla, Puerto Rico until further notice.

Coast Guard Sector San Juan controllers received initial notification at approximately 8:45 a.m. Thursday from Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action, identifying oil patches. Coast Guard pollution Investigators from the Regional Inspection Office, Ponce, Puerto Rico, arrived to the scene with the assistance of a F.U.R.A. marine unit and took samples of the unknown product.

Coast Guard pollution investigators continue investigating the origin of the material that has been spilled into the water. If anyone has any information leading to the responsible party for the spill, they are encouraged to contact the Coast Guard at 787-289-2041.

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