Search continues for source of Potomac River oil sheen

Dan Rauch, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Energy and Environment, observes an oiled duck at Constitution Gardens in Washington, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Oiled wildlife have been recovered by Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research for rehabilitation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Laurel Siegrist)

Dan Rauch, a wildlife biologist observes an oiled duck at Constitution Gardens in Washington, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016.(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Laurel Siegrist)

BALTIMORE — The Unified Command continues its search for the source of oil sheens Saturday in the Potomac River near Arlington, Virginia.

“Responders have been on scene since daybreak and noticed the sheens have mostly dissipated except for a few pockets, which are protected from the elements,” said Lt. David Ruhlig, the Unified Command operations section chief. “Although the sheen covered such a large span of water, the amount was so small it has been difficult to collect any. Even at the outfall, the sorbent pads and boom in fact had trapped mainly dirt,” added Ruhlig.

Oil recovered by Coast Guard investigators has been sent to the Coast Guard Marine Safety Laboratory for analysis.

“The Coast Guard is continuing to actively monitor the response, while Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research continues to search for affected fowl for cleaning,” said Ruhlig. “The Unified Command will continue to trace the different sources to the outfall at Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary in an attempt to determine if there is a responsible party or parties.”

Reports of impacted wildlife or oil should be made to the Office of Unified Communications by dialing 311.

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