DOVER, Del. (AP) — State environmental officials on Wednesday were investigating an oil spill at a refinery that left a sheen floating on the Delaware River.
The refinery in Delaware City, operated by New Jersey-based PBF Energy, reported the release about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, about two hours after workers discovered oil in an effluent channel that discharges into the river.
Refinery officials said contractors deployed booms, absorbents and skimmers to contain the sheen.
"They have boomed the spill, which is good," said David Small, deputy secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. "They have contained what they could see."
Small said the incident involved a leak in a heat exchanger that is part of the refinery's crude oil processing unit, and that a DNREC official was on his way to the refinery Wednesday.
DNRC spokesman Michael Globetti said the leak of what the refinery reported as "gas oil" caused a sheen measuring about 500 feet by 50 feet on the river.
A telephone message left for the refinery shift superintendent was not immediately returned Wednesday.
PBF spokesman Michael Karlovich said Wednesday afternoon that the leak involved less than 20 gallons of partially refined petroleum.
Karlovich said workers at the refinery discovered a problem about 11:10 p.m. Tuesday, and that the heat exchanger was quickly found and isolated as the source of the leak. Workers noticed oil in the effluent channel, which contains equipment to capture oil, about 11:30 p.m., he said.
"We discovered there was an issue in the refinery ... and then we had evidence that it went to the river later on, and that's when we called it in," Karlovich explained.
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