Coast Guard: Tanker blamed for San Leon oil slick
The U.S. Coast Guard has traced the source of an oil slick in San Leon to a Feb. 8 spill from a tanker as it offloaded fuel from a barge at Bolivar Peninsula, a Coast Guard spokesman said.
Environmental testing determined that the fuel came from the Omega Emmanuel, a tanker that was docked at Anchorage A off Bolivar as it took on fuel from a barge, said Petty Officer Prentice Danner of the Coast Guard’s Houston office.
"They had an overflow and they reported that 50 gallons (of fuel) had spilled," Danner said, adding that the spill was immediately reported.
On Wednesday, workers were trying to clean up the fuel at April Fool’s Point in San Leon. The residue settled on the rocks, hampering the cleanup effort, officials said.
The cleanup "is complicated because the oil is embedded in the rocks," Danner said. "It takes slushing (agitation) to get it out, so I can’t speculate on how long it will take."
Danner said the Coast Guard would continue to monitor the cleanup, and could assess damages if negligence is determined, he said.
"Any time we get a report of any kind of marine pollution or spillage of any sort, it’s up to the Coast Guard to maintain the overseeing of the cleanup," Danner said. "We will hold people accountable for the spillage if they are found at fault for the negligence.
Attempts to reach officials at Omega Navigation Enterprises Inc., owner of the Liberian-flag tanker, were unsuccessful late Wednesday.
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