Coast Guard and local officials respond to oil spill in Elizabeth River

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard received a report of an oil spill on the south branch of the Elizabeth River Tuesday at approximately 10:30 a.m.

A state agency conducting an inspection of the Sea Solutions’ ship dismantling facility directed the operator to contact the Coast Guard after discovering the spill.

Coast Guard pollution investigators were sent to respond and the owner hired Coastal Services for the cleanup.

Tuesday evening the Coast Guard assumed control of the response from Sea Solutions and retained Coastal Services. The source of the leak has been located and secured. Over 1,000 gallons of product has been removed from the water and the vessel. An undetermined amount of oily waste and debris remains aboard the vessel.

Sea Solutions was cutting up a container ship for the steel and pumping the oil towards the stern when oil leaked from the remaining piece of the ship into the cove at the facility.

The entire cove is boomed off with containment and absorbent boom. The discharge has been contained to the facility and has not affected vessel traffic.

Coastal Services is using vacuum trucks to recover the oil.

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