Va. Beach citizens confront city leaders about NAS Oceana jet fuel spill

13News Now Ali Weatherton has reactions from several Virginia Beach community members after they tried confronting city leaders about the jet fuel spill.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) – From the heavy gas smell to heath concerns, people in Virginia Beach are still upset over the 94,000 gallon jet fuel spill that happened at NAS Oceana last Thursday. Some even showed up to the Virginia Beach City Council meeting Tuesday night.

"They didn't even mention the jet fuel spill at all," said a community member.

The spill wasn't on council's agenda but a small group of residents believed it should have been. Some showed up at the council meeting to hear something, even a small update about the spill.

"We confronted the city manager about it, he gave us the run around like several times."

On Monday night, the Navy held an informational meeting about the spill. Many people told 13News Now Ali Weatherton they were upset elected officials didn't show up, including Mayor Will Sessoms.

Weatherton asked the mayor why he wasn't there.

“I regret that, I would have loved to have been there, but I had a conflict," explained Mayor Will Sessoms.

Sessoms says the meeting called by the Navy, not by the city and explained he's been in contact with several officials to make sure everything is being handled, but some people say too little has been done to address their issues like the smell and their health concerns.

They want answers from the city and so far, they've gotten nothing. Residents say they're being asked by the Navy to put up their own money to relocate, and they're not convinced they'll be reimbursed.
 
"They are asking poor people to put money up front to save their health and their children and they are not guaranteed they will get money for it," said a community member.

Mayor Sessoms says he hears that concern and will follow up.

"It's something that I can follow up on and I will, because I do believe that these individuals should have the right to stay some place while the odor is so strong and causing minor elements," said Sessoms.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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