December 1, 2004

Delaware spill total set to rise

With the Delaware River reopened to traffic on a limited basis, a new estimate of gallons spilled last Friday by the Athos I is being made.

The original 30,000 gallon estimate was conducted shortly after the spill by ship's engineer. The vessel was listing when the soundings were taken possibly affecting an accurate reading The spill estimate is expected to rise, but the exact number is not yet availible.
 
"I am no longer confident in the estimate given earlier, as further information is confirmed we may have to prepare ourselves for a markedly higher number," said Captain Jonathan Sarubbi, Captain of the Port of Philadelphia.

Current response effort includes:

  • Clean up crews have recovered approximately 10,200 gallons of oil and oil water mixtures.
  • Approximately 729 clean up people are active on the river and along the effected shorelines
  • 41,000 feet of spill control boom has been installed around the vessel and along both shores to protect environmentally sensitive areas
  • The oil sheen spreads approximately 50 miles from the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge to the Artificial Island.
  • As of Tuesday, Wildlife experts from Tri State Bird Rescue, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and New Jersey and Pennsylvania state wildlife agencies had retrieved 50 birds. They hadcleaned 25 and 15 had been found dead or died during treatment.

People who see affected wildlife are asked not to approach them, and should call the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at 215-365-1558.

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