Press Release

AQUASCO, MD (April 16, 2000) --580 people recovering oil at various sites.

Pepco, Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC), Industrial Marine Services (IMS), Clean Harbors and the Coast Guard are providing manpower as well as technical expertise. Other experts working to return the water and affected shoreline areas to clean, safe and useable standards include NOAA, the Shoreline Assessment Cleanup Teams (SCAT), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Maryland Department of Environment and Department of Natural Resources.

Booming activities continue along the river and creeks.

  • 35,700 feet of boom has been deployed throughout the area.
  • Over 6,000 feet of absorbent boom has been retrieved from the water and stored in containers, awaiting decontamination.
  • 10,000 feet of boom is staged and ready to be deployed.
  • Creeks are boomed and closed to minimize contamination.
  • Boaters are prohibited from jumping boom. Violators are subject to a $25,000 fine.
  • Boating traffic is restricted in safety zones. St. Leonard's Creek and Cat Creek are open for traffic.
  • Maryland Department of Environment and the Department of Natural Resources (MDE DNR) stress the importance of common sense in impacted areas.

Statements Below are Advisories

The Department of Environment has stated that in the area of the Patuxent River and tributaries where the presence of petroleum products has been observed, fish and crabs should not be harvested commercially or recreationally. These areas may be identified by a surface sheen, oil on the beach or the smell or taste of petroleum.

At this time, residents should not use beaches and shorelines impacted by the spill for recreational purposes. Pets and livestock should not be allowed access to areas contaminated by the spill. If contact should occur, oil can be removed with mild detergent.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has established a rehabilitation center for fish and animals affected by the oil.

  • 42 birds reported dead.
  • 91 birds reported in rehab.
  • 39 mammals reported dead.
  • 1 mammal reported in rehab.

Residents are asked to contact the Fish and Wildlife Service at 301-579-6098 to report dead and/or distressed birds and animals. Do not handle birds and animals.

The Unified Command, response crews and all involved agencies are working around-the-clock in a concerted effort to clean up the spill affecting the communities in Southern Maryland. The goal of the Unified Command is to work until the affected shorelines and wetland areas are fully restored.