Savannah River Reopened After Oil spill

The U.S. Coast Guard has reopened the Savannah River to vessels after an oil spill which shut down a 12-mile stretch of the river and part of the Intracoastal Waterway on Monday. Oil residues were seen stretching from the Savannah area to the Atlantic beaches of Tybee Island. Early Coast Guard estimates put the spill volume at about 5,000 gallons. Coast Guard crews used large booms to trap the oil, which first reported at 0640 hours.

The cause and source of the spill is still unknown and Coast Guard investigations are underway. A Unified Command with Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Moran Environmental Recovery in response to an oil spill on the Savannah River was established. By 2000 hours on July 17th, the Coast Guard had reopened the Savannah River to vessel traffic with certain speed and maneuverability restrictions and by the next morning, spill cleanup operations were underway. On July 19th, and although cleanup operations were continuing, the Coast Guard lifted all waterway restrictions on the Savannah River and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Coast Guard inspectors are examining all facilities and vessels in the area in an attempt to locate the source of the oil. The Coast guard also reported that 80 persons and nine response boats were responding to the spill. In another development, wildlife experts from the State of Georgia reported less affected wildlife than initial assessments had first indicated on Tuesday.