U.S. Coast Guard finds no fuel in Anacostia River

(Photo: ABC7)

The U.S. Coast Guard says that they have not found any oil or chemical in the waters of the Anacostia River after an assessment Tuesday morning.

Officials say a helicopter flyover found no "sheen" or evidence of a widespread oil spill - an assessment that was confirmed by boat crews.

Containment booms placed near the Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge to stop the flow into Maryland as a precaution, but did not absorb any materials. The booms were towed away Tuesday morning.

Authorities said Monday night that they were trying to contain a large fuel spill in the Anacostia. Fire officials said the petroleum-based product stretched between the 11th Street bridge and New York Avenue.

In a statement Tuesday evening, Mayor Vincent Gray said petroleum-based product had been found in the river.

“I’ve been informed that once the inspectors from the District Department of the Environment identified the petroleum-based substance in the Anacostia River yesterday,” he stated. Emergency personnel “found an oil-type substance in the area of Kingman Lake, located on the Anacostia River near Benning Road, and a preliminary test of the water came back positive for a petroleum product.”

He said the Coast Guard reported that none of the product remained in the river by Tuesday afternoon, and added that he was pleased with the swift response.

U.S. Coast Guard works on the oil spill in Anacostia River. (Photo: Jummy Olabanji)

Officials say an oil spill "trust fund" has been set up to pay for any damages if a substance surfaces in the future. The investigation into the source and nature of the reported spill continues.