Coast Guard still searching for Delaware oil spill's culprit

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says the person or people who are behind an oil spill in Delaware will face a cleanup bill if they're ever identified.

The Delaware State News reported Wednesday the Coast Guard is utilizing the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to pay for cleanup costs, which continue to rise.

“The fund gives us the means of providing an immediate response to cases like this while we work to determine a responsible party,” spokesman Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann said.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said no state money will be used.

The Coast Guard said oil samples are being analyzed by its Marine Safety Laboratory. They're looking for what is essentially a “petroleum fingerprint” that might help determine the source of the spill.

The spill was detected on Oct. 19 as oil washed ashore at Broadkill Beach. Oil-formed tar balls and debris have been found scattered along the shoreline from Bowers Beach to Ocean City, Maryland.