The leak at Abraham’s Bosom on North Side was discovered late on Monday evening, but it is not clear how long it had been leaking. The oil has stained the seawall black and there was a strong smell of oil on the beach below.
Guernsey Harbours’ head of ports operations Jerome Davis said there were no plans to replace the tank.
‘The spill happened as the tank was filled with too much waste marine oil, and as a result overflowed into the area,’ he said.
‘A very small amount of oil was spilled into the marine environment. However, we are confident the oil will break up very quickly and disperse. Everything was done by our staff on site to clean up and minimise any spillage of oil product in the area, which is tenant-controlled.’
The tank was craned onto the back of low loader and removed at about 11am yesterday.
‘We have already conducted our own internal review into this incident and the waste oil tank has been removed,’ Mr Davis said.
‘In future, boat owners will instead have to take any waste oil to the Longue Hougue recycling facility, which is free.’
The tank was the only one of its type at St Sampson’s Harbour and was managed by a third party. This meant Guernsey Harbours did not know how large the tank was or how old it was. The emptying and inspecting of the tank was the responsibility of the third party.
Guernsey Harbours said the clean-up of the oil was in accordance with its plans, but no further details were provided.
At St Peter Port Harbour there is an oil tank on the fish quay for boat owners. This will remain in place and its arrangements unchanged.
Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation said it had been made aware of a minor waste oil spillage which occurred at Abraham’s Bosom, North Side.
‘The OEHPR has been advised by Guernsey Harbours that the spillage was minor and action has been taken to remove the risk of contamination in the area. It is understood that Guernsey Harbours have taken action to ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future.’