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Willard Beach closed as oil spill clean up continues

South Portland Water Resource Protection, Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Coast Guard are now working to determine the cause.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Willard Beach in South Portland is temporarily closed and may have to be closed even longer while several agencies clean up an apparent oil spill. 

Officials with U.S. Coast Guard, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the City of South Portland released a statement Wednesday saying it appeared an oil spill ended up in South Portland's drainage system and eventually emptied into the water at Willard Beach. 

The report said investigators found the origin of the spill and confirmed there would be no more discharge of oil. 

Crews were sent to Willard Beach Tuesday night after reports of oil in the beach water. Officials quickly found the film of fuel in the area of the stormwater discharge and started mitigation efforts.

The report came after officials responded to a leak of an "unknown refined oil product" on Cottage Road earlier in the day, Couture said. 

The agencies said in the release that the beach would remain closed until soil tests are clear. Officials warn people in the area of Willard might smell gas or oil odors, but said there is "no danger to public health."

There is no estimate as to when the beach will be back open to the public.