VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Navy provided an update Friday morning on the cleanup efforts and findings into the investigation after 94,000 gallons of fuel spilled a week ago at NAS Oceana.
The Navy announced that a preliminary investigation found that on Wednesday, May 10, a fuel switch was in the incorrect position during the transfer of fuel into one of Oceana’s three 880,000 gallon storage tanks. The fuel was routed into a smaller 2,000 gallon tank and overflowed for several hours. The overflow was discovered Thursday morning around 6 a.m.
How the switch ended up in the incorrect position is still under investigation.
Of the 94,000 gallons that spilled, 25,000 gallons went off the base and into the community. The Navy originally expected the May 11 spill to be cleaned up within 48 hours, but as of Friday morning, crews are still working to contain the flow and soak it out of the water.
The spill also leaked into nearby waterways. According to the Navy, at last check, there has been a minimal impact on the wildlife in the environment. A spokesperson says six birds died, along with a muskrat, a turtle, and several other marine life species. Officials say they’ll continue to test the air quality and water to make sure there’s no further threat of contamination.
10 On Your Side’s Matt Gregory will have more on the findings of the investigation on WAVY News Midday beginning at 12 p.m.