ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – State regulators are investigating after dozens of gallons of diesel fuel spilled into a St. Augustine waterway. They’re working to determine if the act was intentional.
Viewers shared photos of the spill from the Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection confirmed that about 165 gallons of diesel was siphoned from a boat’s fuel tank at the marina and spilled into the harbor on March 10.
DEP says an emergency team responded to the harbor. The agency says the crew put out absorbent pads to clean up the diesel.
News4JAX spoke with Jen Lomberk, the executive director for the Matanzas Riverkeeper — a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping waterways clean.
“Diesel fuel is a manufactured mixture that doesn’t occur naturally in the environment. It’s produced by the process of refining crude oil. It contains hundreds of chemicals that can be harmful to people and the wildlife,” Lomberk said.
Despite the cleanup, Lomberk is concerned about what could have been left behind.
“There’s that old adage people used to think that the solution to pollution was dilution, and it is in a ways fortunate that it was located next to an inlet because it doesn’t have the same amount of time to stagnate and sit in the waterways,” Lomberk explained.
News4JAX called and went by the marina to get a response, but we were asked to leave the property.
DEP says it has been in contact with the owner of the boat involved, who was not there when this happened.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed it is investigating the incident. No arrests were announced.
Extracted in full from: 165 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in St. Augustine waterway (news4jax.com)