Friday, November 23, 2007

Oil Spill on Long Island

Crews cleaning up oil along Long, Atlantic beaches
BY JOHN VALENTI
Environmental clean-up crews clad in yellow Tyvek worksuits combed the shores of Atlantic Beach and Long Beach Friday morning, collecting spilled fuel oil that began washing ashore on Thanksgiving Day. U.S. Coast Guard officials said there is still no indication where the oil came from.

Affected by the spill of what is estimated to be about 500 gallons of No. 6 crude oil -- a heavy, unrefined fuel that likely was stored cargo in a tanker and not fuel used to power a ship -- is about 3,000 linear feet of beach in Atlantic Beach and 1,500 linear feet of beachfront in Long Beach.

Crews are hopeful the congealed oil can be cleared from the beaches by high tide Friday, which is expected around 6 p.m.

The oil on shore ranges from specks the size of BBs or pellets to bigger globs the size of fried eggs. Officials said the cold weather and the heaviness of the crude oil helped keep it together in blobs, rather than being spread out in a film.

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Conservation, Bill Fonda, said: "We haven't found any impact to wildlife yet." He said there was no sign the oil had diluted into the water -- and that most of the migratory birds had left the area, minimizing impact.

US Coast Guard

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