M/T Kentucky Crude Oil Spill

State TrusteeState of New Jersey
State TrusteeState of Pennsylvania
Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce

Also Known As

Incident Type



New Jersey

Case Status



Delaware River, John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum



Contaminants of Concern Include


Affected DOI Resources Include

Recreational Use Loss, DOI Managed Lands

Case Description

On July 18, 1994, the M/T Kentucky docked at the Mobil oil refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey. After the vessel arrived, damage was observed on the hull below the waterline indicating that the ship likely struck a submerged object in the Delaware River en route to the refinery. Around noon, a 400-foot blackish sheen was observed trailing from the ship. The vessel was boomed and lightering of the suspected tanks began. Following an inspection, divers reported a breach in the #3 port cargo tank above the bilge knuckle, and that 30-feet of the bilge keel was missing. The following day, oil had breached the containment boom. Mobil response team personnel deployed more booms around the vessel, and the Delaware Bay and River Cooperative (DBRC) launched two skimmers and boomed several nearby tributaries. The Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) also deployed its skimmer, the Delaware Responder. Three additional contractors were hired, and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) personnel were on-scene to monitor the cleanup. Two forward-looking infrared (FLIR) overflights helped identify the extent of the discharged oil. The cleanup operation continued until July 24. An estimated 12,600 gallons of Arabian light crude oil was discharged into the Delaware River.

In 1995, the Trustees received $21,000 to compensate for injuries to natural resources in the Delaware Estuary. Additionally, $8,845 was deposited into the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (PA DEP) Clean Streams Fund. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) also settled with the owner of the vessel and received $13,500 for the loss of recreational use in the Delaware River based off a marina survey conducted around Darby Creek and Essington, PA during the spill.

Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Settlement Agreement Settlement Agreement 12/01/1995

Map View

Case Contact

New Jersey Ecological Services Field Office

4 East Jimmie Leeds Road, Suite 4, Galloway, NJ 08205 | (609) 383-3938 | http://www.fws.gov/northeast/njfieldoffice/

Case Trustees

Federal TrusteeDepartment of Commerce
State TrusteeState of New Jersey
State TrusteeState of Pennsylvania

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