Press Releases

Default text size Larger text size Even larger text size   print
RSS feed
< Back to Main

WAPA Contnues Clean-Up of Oil Spill Off St. Croix Richmond Dock

(Thursday, January 28, 2016)

WAPA Confirms More Than 50 Gallons of Oil Leaked Into the Sea Near Estate Richmond Fuel Dock;

Clean Up Operation to Go Through the Night and Into Friday

        A clean-up effort will continue by personnel of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority through the overnight hours and into Friday following an oil spill incident just off the WAPA fuel dock in Estate Richmond.

            WAPA Acting Chief Executive Officer Julio Rhymer said this afternoon that an estimated more than 50 gallons of oil seeped into the waters around the utility’s fuel dock after oil/water separation equipment became compromised late this morning. “The sheen was first noticed by plant personnel around 12 noon which caused WAPA to engage its emergency response plan to both contain and clean up the spilled oil,” Rhymer said. On Friday WAPA will investigate why the final leg of a dual safeguard oil/water separation system failed causing today’s spill.

            Containment booms were deployed and absorbent materials are being used to clean up the heaviest of the spilled oil which has been contained in the general vicinity of the fuel dock. “There is a light sheen that extends along the shoreline to the east of the plant closer to the Seaborne seaplane terminal in Estate Watergut. It is estimated that we have removed about 40-45% of the spilled oil but there is a ways to go until all the spilled petroleum-based product has been removed from the water,” he said.

            WAPA has been in contact with the U.S. Coast Guard, its National Response Center and with a number of local government regulatory agencies. “A Coast Guard inspection will be required at the end of the clean up to ensure that the oil product has been removed to a satisfactory level before the clean-up can be deemed completed,” Rhymer said today.