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Florida Department of Environmental Protection Investigates Large Fuel Spill

Volunteers clean the ocean coast from oil after a tanker wreck.

A recent fuel tank leak in the northwestern Florida panhandle has earned the unenviable attention of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP is investigating the cause and circumstances of a major gasoline spill in the city of Navarre. The spill arose from an underground storage tank (UST) kept near a local marina. If the fuel was stored improperly, the owners could face unwanted attention and liability. Regardless, the owners and other responsible parties will need to contend with the cleanup process and any liability that might arise should they fail to remediate the spill properly.

Continue reading for details on the spill and response, and if you need assistance with a damaged or contaminated UST in New Jersey or Florida, call a professional underground storage tank (UST) remediation and removal expert at Herbert Lutz & Co.

UST Leak in Navarre Raises Community Concern, Prompts DEP Response

In December 2022, more than 2,000 gallons of fuel spilled out of an underground storage tank and onto the Navarre Parkway in Navarre, Florida. Florida’s DEP is currently investigating the cause of the accident, and residents of the town are reportedly concerned with how it happened.

The UST in question was located at a food truck lot on Navarre Parkway. More than 2,000 gallons of the 8,000-gallon fuel tank leaked, although the majority of the leak was contained to a storm drain and the parking lot. Shortly after the spill, a private contractor was retained to dig up the parking lot and collect all of the contaminated dirt in order to dispose of the contaminated material properly.

Thankfully, no one was hurt by the spill, and the leak did not reach the Santa Rosa Sound. Residents were, nevertheless, concerned about the cause of the spill, as well as the possibility of additional spills in the area. Food truck operators who previously set up shop in the lot have lamented the spot’s closure resulting from the spill, which will heavily impact their businesses. The Holley-Navarre Fire Department stated that the quick response to the spill likely prevented a major catastrophe.

The UST is owned by the Navarre Boardwalk and Marina. The fuel stored in the tank was meant to be used for boats docking at the Marina, but the tank has been left unused since the dock was destroyed by Hurricane Sally in 2020. Hurricane Sally, for its part, caused several UST ruptures and oil spills when it hit the southwest in 2020.

The DEP is investigating the cause of the spill as well as helping to coordinate cleanup efforts. According to a statement from the Department: “DEP’s first priority is to provide technical and on-site assistance to ensure threats to the environment and human safety are quickly and effectively addressed. The focus then shifts to longer-term environmental clean-up efforts and any necessary enforcement, which may include penalties.”

Call the Dedicated and Experienced UST Remediation Pros at Lutz for Your Underground Storage Tank Issues

If you discover a UST at your construction worksite or if you need to respond to a UST spill on your property, it’s time to get help from seasoned advisors with years of underground storage tank experience. For thorough, professional assistance dealing with a UST on your property, call Herbert Lutz & Company in Florida at 954-971-5222, or in New Jersey at 908-862-8888.

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