Coast Guard, WAPA Cleaning Up Oil Spill In Lindbergh Bay, Coast Guard Investigating Possible Connection To Diesel Leak In Late October

WAPA Silent: No Official Statement on Diesel Leak and Lindbergh Bay Oil

  • Janeka Simon
  • November 08, 2023

Oil leak containment efforts in Lindbergh Bay led by the U.S. Coast Guard with help from the V.I. Water and Power Authority. By. U.S. COAST GUARD

Coast Guard Personnel are currently overseeing cleanup efforts at the Randolph Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas, after oil was discovered in the waters at Lindbergh Bay on Friday. 

The news from the Coast Guard comes following the discovery of a diesel leak at the power plant on October 25. Then, hundreds of gallons of the fuel were discovered to have leaked out of the number 11 tank into the discharge tank’s secondary containment area, and subsequently into the surrounding land. 

It is currently unclear whether the discovery of the oil in waters along Lindbergh Bay’s eastern shoreline is related to the leak. Coast Guard personnel await forensic oil sample analysis from the Marine Safety Lab to identify the type of oil. Officials say this could help to identify the culprit. 

For now, “the Coast Guard is fully dedicated to environmental response efforts impacting our waterways,” said Capt. José E. Díaz, Coast Guard Captain of the Port and Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the response. "Our top priorities for this response are to ensure the oil is cleaned up in a timely manner and that any threat to public health and the environment are properly mitigated in this case.”

The V.I. Water and Power Authority, which owns and operates the Randolph Harley Power Plant, deployed a containment and recovery boom into the water to keep the oil from making further incursions into Lindbergh Bay. “At this time,” reads a Coast Guard statement from Monday, “the oil is effectively being contained and collected from within the containment boom area.”

With respect to the diesel leak from the power plant’s number 11 tank, “WAPA responders continue cleanup efforts to collect diesel material and contaminated soil,” the statement says, reporting that about 18,000 gallons of an oil-water mixture had been collected from the tank’s secondary containment area, with a further 8,000 gallons of the mixture collected from the surrounding land.

WAPA has not yet issued a public statement about either the diesel leak or the discovery of oil in Lindbergh Bay.

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