Unified Command continues Arthur Kill Waterway cleanup

Crew members from Miller Environmental Group Inc. conduct a shore cleanup Monday, April 1, 2019, at Jacob Riis Park Beach in New York. The Miller Environmental Group Inc. sent crews to clean up tar balls reported on the beach. (U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson)

Crew members from Miller Environmental Group Inc. conduct a shore cleanup Monday, April 1, 2019, at Jacob Riis Park Beach in New York.  (U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Dickinson)

NEW YORK – The Unified Command continues to respond to an oil discharge, which occurred in the Arthur Kill Waterway on Thursday.

The Unified Command deployed personnel and assets today to perform cleanup operations in impacted areas of Elizabethport Reach, including Elizabeth Marina, New Jersey, and Jacob Riis Park, New York.

Cleanup crews worked along Rockaway Beach Monday cleaning up tar balls that shoreline cleanup and assessment technique (SCAT) teams found Sunday. A total of 87 people along with 16 boats are working in the field today.

The Unified Command continues to monitor for impacts related to the ship discharge. Teams have surveyed the New Jersey coast from Long Beach to Sandy Hook, Raritan Bay, and New York including Staten Island, Brighton Beach, Gravesend Bay, Rockaway Beach, Long Beach, and Jones Beach from the air and on foot.

Assessments conducted from the air and on the beaches revealed little to no oil observed. NOAA trajectories do not anticipate any product coming ashore further south.

There have been no new reports of oil sheening in the water or tar balls.

“We’ve seen a lot of progress in the cleanup of the Arthur Kill Waterway, and we continue to work with our Unified Command partners to ensure a rapid and thorough cleanup of all impacted areas,” said Capt. Jason Tama, Federal On-Scene Coordinator. “Our priorities continue to be the safety of everyone involved including the public and responders, and environmental cleanup.”

“Our number one goal is to ensure the public and the environment are protected and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will continue to work closely with the United States Coast Guard, and our state and local partners to quickly identify and clean up any impacted areas,” said NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We encourage anyone who observes any impacts from this spill to contact the command center immediately to assist in our response efforts as our investigation of this incident continues.”

Members of the Unified Command continue assessing wildlife in the area. To date three oiled birds – one domestic duck and two ring-billed gulls – have been captured in New Jersey by personnel from Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. The public is urged to not approach or attempt to rescue any impacted wildlife, which may further harm the animal or cause distress to the animal.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation by U.S. Coast Guard.

Further information will be made public as it is available. For all claims, for reports of oiled wildlife, reports of tar balls, and for media queries please call 866-601-5880.


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