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Chesapeake Bay, Northampton County, Virginia | 1976-Feb-02

Initial Notification: On February 2, 1976, the petroleum transport barge STC-101, under tow by the Allied Towing Company Tug Falcon, partially sank during stormy weather in Chesapeake Bay approximately 3.5 miles off Smith Point Light. The bow, protruding at a 30? angle, was approximately 30 to 40 feet out of the water while the stern rested on the bottom in approximately 105 feet of water. The STC-101, loaded with 19,531 barrels of No. 6 Fuel Oil, was en-route from the AMOCO Refinery in Yorktown, Virginia, to the AMOCO Terminal in Baltimore at the time of the incident. Initially, only a small rainbow sheen, believed to be from deck machinery diesel and lube oil, was observed around the barge. Clean Water Inc. was contracted by Steuart Transportation, the barge owner, to stage pollution abatement equipment near the scene in the event of a spill during salvage operations. An underwater survey of the barge on February 4 reported no oil leaking from the barge, however, oil patches and light sheen were reported in the surrounding area on February 5. After the STC-101 was refloated on February 6 by the McLean Construction Company, the barge was intentionally grounded in Ingram Bay for dewatering operations. Extensive damage to the port side was discovered. Severe wind and weather conditions as well as poorly maintained and improperly secured cargo hatches may have contributed to the oil spillage. After the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads received several reports of oil and birds washing up on surrounding shorelines, a Federal spill was declared on February 8. On February 19, the AMOCO Terminal in Baltimore, Maryland, concluded that 5,959 barrels of oil were missing from the STC-101 barge. Beach and marsh areas of both the eastern and western shores of Chesapeake Bay were contaminated. Large areas of dormant oiled marsh grasses were cut, leaving the root systems intact. Virginia authorities estimated that between 20,000 and 50,000 waterfowl were killed as a result of the spill. The bulk of the cleanup was completed by mid-March. A final inspection on November 5 revealed little evidence of oil remaining in the affected areas. USCG district 5. Keyword: Vacuum truck, manual removal, high pressure washing, vegetation cutting, sub-surface oil, salvage, boom, disposal..

Incident Details
Products of concern:No. 6 Fuel Oil
Total amount at risk of spill: 250,000 gallons
Latitude (approximate): 37° 49.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 76° 11.00′ West
On-Water Recovery: Unknown/Not applicable
Shoreline Cleanup: Unknown/Not applicable
Dispersants: Unknown/Not applicable
In-Situ Burn: Applied
Bioremediation: Unknown/Not applicable