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Fuel Spill Reported on Peirce Island

U.S. Coast Guard, NH Department of Environmental Services officials and Portsmouth firefighters responded to area near Portsmouth Commercial Fish Pier.

UPDATED, 11:54 a.m.: A fuel spill near Peirce Island was reported Saturday morning near the Portsmouth Commercial Fishing Pier, but quickly dissipated as the Piscataqua River's strong currents picked up and high tide arrived.

Portsmouth Fire Capt. Mike Hogan said firefighters responded to the area around 8:30 a.m. and learned that some diesel fuel had leaked out of one of the commercial fishing vessels at the fish pier.

Hogan said city firefighters turned the matter over the Coast Guard and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services officials. Hogan said the fuel spill "was spotty," but traces of it "could be seen in different areas on the water."

Hogan said the Coast Guard and NH DES officials were expected to do an assessment to determine how many gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the river and whether any further action was required. He said the Piscataqua River's strong current and high tide scattered the spilled fuel very quickly.

Coast Guard Machinery Specialist First Class Daniel Bell said the Coast Guard's environmental response team was dispatched to the scene from the New Castle Coast Guard Station, but he could not say what action, if any, they ended up taking.

Hogan said the exact cause of the fuel spill is still being investigated.

Earlier story: The U.S. Coast Guard and the state Department of Environmental Services are responding to a fuel spill in the Piscataqua River this morning.

The initial call came in around 9:25 a.m. for a large fuel spill on Marcy Street at Peirce Island in Portsmouth, according to emergency radio broadcasts. The spill was reportedly in the area of the pier.

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