Coast Guard: Initial Tests Find Fuel Oil Caused Potomac Sheen - NBC4 Washington

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Coast Guard: Initial Tests Find Fuel Oil Caused Potomac Sheen

Coast Guard awaiting lab results from more samples

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Initial test results show the sheen that showed up on the Potomac River last week contains fuel oil, but the source of the spill is still unknown. Meanwhile, one of the 30 oil-contaminated wild geese rounded up and taken to Delaware to be cleaned up has died. News4's Mark Segraves reports. (Published Monday, Feb. 8, 2016)

    Initial tests show degraded fuel oil is what spilled into the Potomac River near Reagan National Airport last week.

    Authorities are still waiting for test results on additional samples, U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Michael Keane said Monday at a news conference. The source of the spill has not been found.

    “There is a chance that we might not find out who the actual responsible party is,” Keane said.

    Authorities checked manholes Monday to try to eliminate possible sources of the substance.

    Also Monday, additional floatation devices were deployed to help contain the spill, which stretched eight miles along the Potomac River from just about National Airport down to the Wilson Bridge. 

    The oil sheens have mostly dissipated but are still visible, Keane said. Tidal action could create more rainbow sheens.

    The oil was spotted in the water Wednesday and believed to be caused by snow runoff, Keane said, but when it continued Friday, unified command was set up.

    Dye Test Aims to Find Potomac Oil Sheen Source

    [DC] Dye Test Aims to Find Potomac Oil Sheen Source
    The U.S. Coast Guard says a dye test will be conducted in the Potomac River and Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary near Arlington, Virginia, to find the source of a sheen spotted on the river.
    (Published Monday, Feb. 8, 2016)

    Keane said the spill was "fairly minor" and the Coast Guard is working to minimize the environmental impact.

    The number of oiled birds being cared for at an animal-rescue facility now stands at 30 -- 29 Canada geese and one mallard duck -- but one wild goose has died.