Joint Response to Oil Spill at Willard Beach, South Portland, ME
SOUTH PORTLAND, August 25, 2021 — The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and the City of South Portland are all involved in the joint response to an oil spill that reached the City’s storm water drainage system and subsequently discharged into the water at Willard Beach yesterday afternoon. Crews initially responded last night and returned this morning to continue proper cleanup and remediation efforts. A responsible party has been identified and no additional discharge has occurred since last night, nor is further discharge from the source anticipated. Maine DEP is the lead agency overseeing response operations with the USCG and City of South Portland representatives supporting. Clean Harbors Environmental Services has been contracted and has been on scene actively conducting cleanup operations, which includes collecting any contaminated seaweed and working with the City’s Water Resources Protection Department to collect any remaining oily waste in the storm water drainage system in efforts to prevent any further discharge into the water at Willard Beach. The length of the cleanup effort is currently unknown.
Willard Beach will remain closed to the public for the remainder of today. Reopening will be assessed daily as cleanup efforts continue and results from soil/sand testing are analyzed. Neighbors in the vicinity may notice some petroleum related odors as a result of this spill; however, authorities indicate there is no danger to public health.
“This incident highlights the strong partnerships we have at the federal, state, and local level here in South Portland. This is a team effort, and we certainly appreciate the cooperation of all involved agencies. The safety of the public is our primary concern.” Captain Amy Florentino, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander Sector Northern New England.
For additional information, contact:
David R. Madore, Deputy Commissioner