This before and after photo shows how the red dye diesel fuel was contained and vacuumed. Image: USCG Mid-Atlantic

Diesel Spill in Annapolis’s Spa Creek

A large diesel fuel spill prompted multiple agencies to respond to an Annapolis waterfront park on Monday.

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) says about 200 gallons of “red dyed # 2 fuel oil” spilled into the water Sunday evening, July 10, around 5 p.m. at Acton Cove Waterfront Park. on Spa Creek.

When they arrived MDE deployed 600 feet of sorbent sweep to contain the spill. The Annapolis Fire Department also responded. The Coast Guard accessed the Oil Pollution Liability Trust Fund and a contractor came in around midnight Monday morning for recovery and cleanup operations. Once the spill was contained with booms, it was vacuumed into an awaiting environmental services truck.

MDE was onsite Monday morning with the Coast Guard and the contractor. At that time, no source of the spill had been identified. The booms were still in place. The smell of diesel fuel remained very strong and the Annapolis Fire Department advised boaters and swimmers to continue to avoid the area.

As of Tuesday, the Coast Guard said cleanup is complete with nearly all the diesel removed. “There is a small residual amount that should dissipate over the next day or so,” says Petty Officer First Class Cynthia Oldham, a USCG external affairs specialist. “To help alleviate the odor, which is not an environmental concern but may be a nuisance for people nearby, a crew is doing a low pressure flush away from the cove into more open water to help the residual product naturally degrade and break down more quickly.”

The Coast Guard says a sample of the spilled material has been collected to later investigate a potential source. Bay Bulletin will continue to update this ongoing operation as we learn more information.

-Meg Walburn Viviano