Press Release

AQUASCO, MD (April 25, 2000) -- Shoreline cleanup assessment teams (SCAT) will be surveying the southern areas of the affected waterway and shorelines today. The areas being assessed include those where booms have been removed from the waterway and placed on the shoreline due to stabilized and significant progress that has been made to date. This review will determine whether boom can be permanently removed from the area.

More than 600 people – government agencies, Pepco workers and contractors - will be working on the cleanup plan. Plans for today’s operations include:

  • Continuing the use of aggressive environmental cleanup;
  • Loading, transporting and cleaning boom;
  • Collecting any free-floating oil;
  • Removing debris from shoreline;
  • Deploying 35,000 feet of boom; and
  • Deploying 16 skimmers.
  • To date, more than 31,000 gallons of oil have been recovered from the affected waterway.

A community meeting will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, April 26th in St. Mary’s County with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Maryland Department of Environment, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Pepco. The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 at the Mechanicsville Fire House.

Statements Below are Advisories

All advisories relating to harvesting, fishing and eating of crabs, shellfish and fish have been lifted. Individual fish or crabs that have a petroleum smell should be returned to the water.

Avoid beaches and waterways affected by the spill. Pets and livestock should be kept out of contaminated areas.

The entire Patuxent River is open to vessel traffic. However, there are creeks that remain boomed off. A Marine Information Broadcast (MIB) is in effect. An MIB is a U.S. Coast Guard issued radio broadcast that announces the transit conditions of the river. Commercial and recreational craft are not to cross boomed areas. In addition, vessels are asked to keep the wake down where booms or cleanup crews are present. Inquiries from commercial vessels requiring transit into boomed areas can be directed to Coast Guard activities Baltimore Port Safety and Security at (410) 576-2693. Recreational users should contact the on-scene Maryland Natural Resources police officer at (888) 584-3110.

All advisories relating to beaches and shorelines are still in effect.