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WAPA Says Oil Spill Cleanup Will Be Complete When Certified By U.S. Coast Guard

WAPA oil spill 99

Where the oil spill is in Estate Richmond.

CHRISTIANSTED – Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority officials said that they are finishing the cleanup of an oil spill of 50 gallons at WAPA’s fuel dock in Estate Richmond.

“Crews worked throughout the night to remove spilled oil from both the waters around the fuel dock where the greater volume of oil existed and along the shore line between the power plant and Estate Watergut,” Acting WAPA CEO Julio Rhymer said.

WAPA said that the cleanup is nearly 95 percent complete. They added that the investigation into the malfunctioning oil-water separation equipment believed to have caused the Thursday spill is now 25 percent complete.

Rhymer said that the cleanup of the shoreline and water around the fuel dock is finished. The focus now is on inland areas and contaminated seaweed in the harbor.

WAPA has asked boaters, whose vessels have been affected by Thursday’s spill of fuel oil in Christiansted harbor, to notify the agency of any complaints, and said it will take steps to clean affected vessels at the water line.

Since the spill was first noticed by employees on Thursday, WAPA crews have placed absorbent pads and other materials along the shoreline to capture the oil which formed a light sheen on the water surface.

A containment boom and similar absorbent materials were used around the fuel dock to remove the spilled oil.

Rhymer said that he hopes that this weekend the U.S. Coast Guard will certify that the cleanup has been finalized.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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