An oily substance is covering part of the surface of the Anacostia River in the District, but an initial assessment Tuesday shows it has not had a major impact on wildlife so far and there may be little authorities can do to clean it up.
“There is a sheen on the water, but it does not appear to be recoverable,” said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Brandyn Hill. “If it were a darker, thicker substance, it would be recoverable.”
This morning, a U.S. Coast Guard team flew over the site of the spill, which stretches from the 11th Street Bridge to the New York Avenue Bridge, but did not see any signs of pollution, Hill said. The oil was first spotted on Monday evening.
So far, there have been no reports of birds or fish being affected by the substance.
The source of the pollution and how much of it is in the river is still under investigation. Initial tests showed it was a petroleum-based substance, said D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer.
Booms were deployed Monday night to confine the liquid within the stretch between Pennsylvania Avenue SE and New York Avenue NE, Piringer said.
The Coast Guard, the D.C. Department of the Environment, the D.C. fire department and the Maryland Department of the Environment are all investigating the spill.