The US Coast Guard has awarded the department of environmental protection of the state of New Jersey some USD 20.3 million to restore nearly 200 acres of Salem County wetlands and grasslands. The environment in these areas was deeply polluted by the massive oil spill from the tanker Athos I that took place in the Delaware River in 2004.
The tanker spilled an estimated 263,000 gallons – almost 1,000 cubic metres – of crude oil when it punctured its hull on a submerged object while attempting to dock at the Citgo asphalt refinery on November 26, 2004. The spill affected about 280 miles of shoreline.
The money aimed for the restoration comes from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is fuelled by a tax on the oil industry.
On Friday, November 26, 2004, at approximately 9:15 p.m., the 750-foot, single-hull tanker Athos I, registered under the flag of Cyprus, was reported to be leaking oil into the Delaware River en route to its terminal at the CITGO asphalt refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey.