PALMETTO, Fla. (WFLA) — Over 20,000 gallons of water and crude oil were recovered from Port Manatee following the spill on Sep. 1, but nearly one month later, questions still remain.
Following a month-long effort, the U.S. Coast Guard suspended its investigation into the spill which sought responsibility for the environmental fiasco.
Officials said they performed a thorough examination of 30 potential sources, including port facilities and ships. Roughly 20,500 gallons of oil/water mixture and 6.4 tons of oily debris were removed in the process.
“I am pleased that we were able to quickly isolate the spilled material within the port to mitigate impacts to the environment,” said Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg commander Capt. Michael Kahle. “Our investigators worked tirelessly in search of the spill source and the responsible party.”
Alas, the $1.17 million clean-up and investigative efforts came up empty-handed in the search for a source.
SeaPort Manatee was quick to note that “none of the samples collected for type-testing at the port matched the oil found in the inner harbor.”
It added that port team members were among the first to notice a visible discoloration within the water and notify the National Response Center.
According to the port, an endangered species analysis of the area conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that “no fish or wildlife were affected by the spill.”
Further investigation is pending new information.