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      Coast Guard responds to diesel spill off Florida coast

      From the U.S. Coast Guard

      TAMPA - The Coast Guard is continuing to respond to a diesel spill in the Port of Tampa at Hooker's Point, Fla., Wednesday.

      Officials at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., received notification at 8:18 a.m., from the pipeline transportation and energy storage company, Kinder Morgan, that their floating crane barge had discharged diesel fuel near Berth 219, in the Port of Tampa at Hooker's Point.

      The floating crane barge's tank holds approximately 6,000 gallons of fuel and it has been reported that approximately 4,900 gallons have been spilled.

      Investigators from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, the Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are currently working with Kinder Morgan to monitor the clean up process.

      Eagle SWS has been contracted through Kinder Morgan for the clean up process.

      "As of 12 p.m., today, the Coast Guard determined that 4,900 gallons of diesel fuel entered the waterway," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Grant Smith, a pollution investigator at Sector St. Petersburg. "Approximately 500 gallons has been removed through mechanical means and an unknown quantity has dispersed or evaporated. Along with personnel from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, we will continue to monitor the clean up process through the evening until no recoverable oil remains. All containment equipment and booms will remain in place until all fuel has been removed or dissipates. A pollution investigation will be conducted concurrently to determine the exact cause of the spill".

      To report maritime pollution, contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

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