Oceana jet fuel spill now out of ’emergency phase’ as crews continue cleanup and assessment

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Naval Air Station Oceana has changed the status of the fuel spill from 'emergency response' to 'remediation.'

It has been weeks since 94,000 gallons of jet fuel overflowed from a fuel tank and seeped onto the base and into the civilian community.

Since that time, cleanup has been underway and much of the oil-water mixture has been collected and removed, according to officials with the Unified Command aboard base. In the process, 51 families have been relocated to hotels after complaining of a sickening smell.

As of now, 20 families remain in hotels but are being informed by base officials on the status of their homes.

In a press briefing last week, Naval Command gave insight to their initial findings during the investigation to uncover what caused the spill. A switch left in the wrong position was the only cause they could give us at the time and they said they continue to work on finding out what exactly happened.

Early on, officials on base say they have doubled up on personnel assigned to refueling; a permanent change that has been in effect since the spill.

The Department of Environmental Quality is still collecting soil and water samples and assessing their levels to determine whether or not this will cause any long-term affects.

The Naval Air Station and the Unified Command Response has announced they are transitioning from the emergency phase to a monitoring and assessment phase of the cleanup.

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