Huge Oil Spill in Intercoastal, at Perdido Key

By Sean Boone
Perdido Key Oil Spill -Leak Near Mile In Diameter
A type of aviation fuel has spilled into the Intercoastal Waterway near Perdido Key.

At approximately 3 p.m. today, residents near River Road reported the spill to the Coast Guard.

Since that time, officials from the Coast Guard and Escambia County have been working to assess the damage as well as the cause of the leak.

County Commissioner Gene Valentino, who has been at the scene with emergency operations crews, said JP8 jet fuel found in the water gives evidence that a barge caused the spill, but could not confirm any source for the accident.

“The Coast Guard is continuing to determine where it might have come from,” he said. “A study for remediation has been suspended until 8:30 tomorrow morning. At that time the county will be putting in our watercraft (to assess the spill area).”

The FWC, SWC and county EOC have been onsite assisting operations from the Coast Guard.

Valentino says the spill appears to be ¾ of a mile to a mile in diameter and is heading in a westerly motion towards the eastern portion of Big Lagoon State Forest.

“It is beginning to pocket near shore…the Coast Guard has a lead on it and has put its barrier tubes to sponge it up.”

The Dist. 2 Commissioner said he had already planned to have a meeting with County Administrator Larry Newsom and the geologists on staff to discuss what to do about the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that may reach our coast in the next few days.

“I’m going to call for an immediate discussion with our subject matter experts…our three geologists and the head of emergency operations (John Dosh),” Valentino said. “After speaking with Newsom, we will have an immediate discussion on the spill out in the gulf of Mexico. It’s a strange coincidence there was a mishap in the Intercoastal.”