Oil spill spreads ¾ mile along Broadkill Beach

An oil spill has hit three-quarters of a mile of the coast at Broadkill Beach, with officials warning it’s likely to have migrated overnight.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is “continuing to monitor the situation at this time,” Michael Globetti, the department’s media relations manager, said today.

DNREC’s Emergency Response Team responded Monday afternoon to reports of a spill estimated at five barrels or about 215 gallons of oil from an unknown source that washed ashore at Broadkill. People worked into the evening to survey impacts and plan a cleanup.

The agency’s environmental staff gauged the size of the spill after collaborating with Delaware State Police’s Aviation Unit on a reconnaissance flight. DNREC will provide samples of the oil to the U.S. Coast Guard today to be analyzed for a “petroleum fingerprint” that might determine its source and will work with the Coast Guard’s environmental contractor to clean up the spill.

Residents of coastal communities should cal DNREC at 800-662-8802 to report any oil spotted on land or offshore. DNREC staff members surveyed other bay beaches Monday afternoon but found no evidence that oil had come ashore elsewhere on Delaware Bay.

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