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Press Release | Nov. 7, 2023

Coast Guard investigates as WAPA oil pollution response crews contain oil spill in Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas

ST THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — Coast Guard pollution response personnel overseeing clean-up efforts at the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) Randolph Harley Power Plant in St. Thomas discovered oil in the water on the eastern shoreside of Lindbergh Bay, Friday. 

The Coast Guard is investigating the source of this spill to determine if it is tied to the number 11 tank diesel discharge that occurred at the WAPA facility Oct. 25, 2023. 

Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment St. Thomas and Atlantic Strike Team personnel await forensic oil sample analysis from the Marine Safety Lab to identify the type of oil discharged into the water. This information may help identify a possible source and responsible party. 

“The Coast Guard is fully dedicated to environmental response efforts impacting our waterways,” said Capt. José E. Díaz, Coast Guard Captain of the Port and Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the response. "Our top priorities for this response are to ensure the oil is cleaned up in a timely manner and that any threat to public health and the environment are properly mitigated in this case.” 

WAPA’s oil spill removal organization deployed containment and absorbent recovery boom in the water to collect the oil and prevent it from further spreading into Lindbergh Bay. At this time, the oil is effectively being contained and collected from within the containment boom area. 

WAPA responders continue cleanup efforts to collect diesel material and contaminated soil from the number 11 tank discharge. So far, the oil recovery crews responding to the number 11 tank discharge have collected approximately 18,000 gallons of oily water mixture from the discharge tank’s secondary containment and an additional 8,000 gallons of oily water mixture have been collected from the affected land outside the secondary containment. 

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