Coast Guard continues to monitor palm oil spill in Savannah River

National Response Center LogoSAVANNAH, Ga. — The Coast Guard continues to monitor the response to a palm oil spill that occurred Friday, along the north shore of the Savannah River, in the vicinity of Hutchinson Island.

As of 8 p.m., Monday, approximately 50 percent of the shoreline has been cleaned. Less than half a mile of the product remained within the containment boom along the river shoreline, and the majority of the product is contained.

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah have been closely coordinating with personnel from Moran Environmental, the company contracted to perform the clean up.

Palm oil is a material used in numerous everyday edible products and does not pose a danger to people or animals in the area, but the public is asked to avoid the area while cleanup operations continue. Additionally, while not harmful to humans or animals, the clean up of the palm oil is mandated by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Members at MSU Savannah were notified of the situation approximately 12 a.m., Saturday. The initial report stated that the incident began when the motor vessel Ginga Leopard was transferring the oil ashore at the Vopak Terminal in Savannah, Friday. The exact amount spilled remains unknown and the cause of the spill is under investigation.

Since the beginning of the incident, approximately 5,000 feet containment boom was deployed to contain the product along the shoreline.

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