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WAPA ACCEPTING OIL SPILL CLAIMS

Oct. 13, 2002 – The V.I. Water and Power Authority is accepting claims for damages after gallons of fuel oil leaked into the Christiansted harbor from its Richmond plant. The company is urging boaters or property owners who experienced damage because of Wednesday’s spill to submit claims for compensation to safety manager Vaughn Hendricks.
After a 48-hour clean-up operation using absorbent pads and containment booms, WAPA cleaned up approximately 20 gallons of oil that leaked onto the shoreline after torrential rains flooded a fuel oil separator Wednesday morning.
A debris-clogged trench caused the water level buildup that overflowed into the power plant, causing equipment malfunction. The fuel oil separator removes oil from the waste water before sending the distilled water out to sea.
Seaplane travelers could see the oil slick floating along an easterly current from the Richmond plant to the Kings Alley dock adjacent to Fort Christiansvaern. A rainbow colored film glistened in the evening setting sun.
At least one vessel experienced some damage. Mile-Mark Charter’s glass bottom boat had a chocolate-brown petroleum marking at sea level.
A WAPA press release on Friday stated that under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Authority is responsible for the removal cost and damages resulting from the incident.
The Coast Guard, Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the National Response Team came to action Wednesday to assist WAPA’s First Strike Team, who had just completed mock exercises on spill management and oil spill response.
The training included wildlife rehabilitation, types of response equipment, public relations and safety plans.
Hollis Griffin, DPNR’s director of Environmental Protection, said he had examined the area around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday and it looked good. "The oil has dissipated and my staff is having a meeting with WAPA to discuss the results of the clean-up operation," Griffin said.
DPNR said it will continue to monitor the area to ensure that no more diesel or fuel oil is apparent.
Aaron Hutchins, DPNR supervisor of the Water Pollution Control Program, said, "There is still the boardwalk area and a storm drain next to the seaplane that we are checking. From my aspect, there is no dead fish or an impact on the wildlife."
Claimants are asked to mail formal requests for compensation to WAPA, attention Vaughn Hendricks, safety manager, P.O. Box 1009, Christiansted, St. Croix, VI 00821.
Hendricks call be reached at 773-2796 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Oct. 13, 2002 - The V.I. Water and Power Authority is accepting claims for damages after gallons of fuel oil leaked into the Christiansted harbor from its Richmond plant. The company is urging boaters or property owners who experienced damage because of Wednesday’s spill to submit claims for compensation to safety manager Vaughn Hendricks.
After a 48-hour clean-up operation using absorbent pads and containment booms, WAPA cleaned up approximately 20 gallons of oil that leaked onto the shoreline after torrential rains flooded a fuel oil separator Wednesday morning.
A debris-clogged trench caused the water level buildup that overflowed into the power plant, causing equipment malfunction. The fuel oil separator removes oil from the waste water before sending the distilled water out to sea.
Seaplane travelers could see the oil slick floating along an easterly current from the Richmond plant to the Kings Alley dock adjacent to Fort Christiansvaern. A rainbow colored film glistened in the evening setting sun.
At least one vessel experienced some damage. Mile-Mark Charter’s glass bottom boat had a chocolate-brown petroleum marking at sea level.
A WAPA press release on Friday stated that under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Authority is responsible for the removal cost and damages resulting from the incident.
The Coast Guard, Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the National Response Team came to action Wednesday to assist WAPA’s First Strike Team, who had just completed mock exercises on spill management and oil spill response.
The training included wildlife rehabilitation, types of response equipment, public relations and safety plans.
Hollis Griffin, DPNR’s director of Environmental Protection, said he had examined the area around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday and it looked good. "The oil has dissipated and my staff is having a meeting with WAPA to discuss the results of the clean-up operation," Griffin said.
DPNR said it will continue to monitor the area to ensure that no more diesel or fuel oil is apparent.
Aaron Hutchins, DPNR supervisor of the Water Pollution Control Program, said, "There is still the boardwalk area and a storm drain next to the seaplane that we are checking. From my aspect, there is no dead fish or an impact on the wildlife."
Claimants are asked to mail formal requests for compensation to WAPA, attention Vaughn Hendricks, safety manager, P.O. Box 1009, Christiansted, St. Croix, VI 00821.
Hendricks call be reached at 773-2796 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.