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January 5, 2013

Osprey cleanup continues; investigation planned

Two days after the Osprey, a large herring trawler, ran aground, the cleanup continues on the resulting oil spill.

The vessel ran aground near Ten Pound Island Wednesday night and the initial cleanup began around 1:30 p.m. Thursday and lasted into Friday morning.

ENPRO, a Newburyport company, was hired by the state Department of Environmental Protection to conduct the cleanup.

Geoff Brown, vice president, said a majority of the work was completed late Thursday afternoon.

“There may be some residual impacts, such as oil on the rocks,” he said.

Initial reports indicated about 100 to 150 gallons of No. 2 heating oil, dyed red, spilled into a nearby cove off Rocky Neck. However, Joseph Ferson, a spokesman for the state DEP said the actual amount is at least 150 gallons, if not more.

Floating booms, first put out Thursday to stop and absorb further spillage were replaced Friday and will remain in place until Monday, Ferson said.

The U.S. Coast Guard plans on conducting an investigation to learn the details of the incident, Lt. Garrett Meyer said.

In addition, boat owner Peter Mullen or its operator, Padriac Dirrane, may face a fine as a result of the accident. However, Meyer said fines are usually issued to people who do not take the proper follow-up actions, such as not cleaning up a spill, or cleaning up too slowly.

Ferson said Mullen’s insurance coverage is handling the cost of the cleanup.

A standard post-incident investigation by the DEP will take place to determine how the incident happened, as well as to determine how much fuel the Osprey leaked.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.

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