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Responders continue diesel cleanup on Adak

KODIAK, Alaska - Responders are continuing cleanup and recovery efforts of 142,800 gallons of spilled diesel in Adak at first light Wednesday.

Additional crews arrived Tuesday afternoon to aid Adak Petroleum and Aleut Enterprises in their cleanup efforts. The crews observed a small sheen of approximately one quarter mile extending beyond the boom at the mouth of the smallboat harbor.

Crews Wednesday intend to remove diesel gathered along the boom and continue removing diesel from Helmet Creek. Additional boom will be applied to the surrounding creeks to prevent oiling of clean creeks and maintain containment in Helmet Creek. Oiled shoreline has been observed by responders on the  of the smallboat harbor and at the mouth of Happy Valley Creek.

Monday on site workers were able to contain the spill using hard boom. Tuesday they reinforced that effort by placing three segments of boom totaling 1,100 feet across the mouth of the Adak smallboat harbor to prevent contamination of Sweeper Cove. Roads in the vicinity of the spill have been closed to the public.

Skimmers were placed at key collection points along Helmet Creek and a vacuum truck was also used. Approximately 1,800 gallons of diesel and water was collected.  As diesel is a lighter fuel a portion of the exposed fuel will have evaporated.

Plans are being developed to handle the soiled sorbents, contaminated boom and recovered diesel. The collected sorbent materials and diesel are currently being securely stored on site until they can be removed from the island and sent to a waste handling facility. 

The unified command is working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game personnel to minimize the disturbance caused by response actions to sea otters and critical habitat. No oiled wildlife has been reported and very little wildlife activity has been observed.

The unified command has also employed an historic properties specialist to identify and preserve any cultural and historical sites that may be located near the spill site.

Weather conditions on site Tuesday were favorable to recovery activities with northwest winds 25 to 35 mph and no precipitation.

Wednesday winds are forecast as 10 to 15 mph increasing in the evening to 45 to 55 mph from the southeast with rain, snow and patchy fog, which may hamper efforts.  The air temperature is expected to be in the 30s.

The spill was discovered Monday during a fuel transfer operation from the tanker Al-Amerat to a 4.78 million gallon subterranean tank in the Adak tank farm. The transfer was ceased immediately and the source of the spill has been secured.

Unified command established for response to fuel spill on Adak, recovery operations underway
KODIAK, Alaska - A unified command has been established and is continuing to respond Tuesday (Jan. 12) to the discharge of diesel fuel from an underground oil storage tank into Helmet Creek and the small boat harbor adjacent to Sweeper Cove Monday on the northeast side of Adak Island.

The unified command is comprised of the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Adak Petroleum with support from Alaska Chadux, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, and NOAA.

Adak Petroleum reports the diesel fuel overflowed the underground oil storage tank while it was being offloaded from an oil tanker.  The spill occurred on land, and some of it reached the small boat harbor via Helmet Creek.  Further investigation by on site personnel report approximately 142,800 gallons (3,400 barrels) of fuel escaped from the underground tank, of which 1,000 gallons is estimated to have leaked into the small boat harbor.

Adak Petroleum personnel report that absorbent pads, three sections of hard boom, and additional spill response equipment are being used for spill recovery.  Adak Petroleum personnel also report the diesel fuel is contained with boom preventing it from going into Sweeper Cove.  Approximately 1,100-feet of hard boom and 75-feet of sorbent boom have been deployed.

Approximately 20 personnel from the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Chadux, and Trident Services are en route Adak and scheduled to arrive Tuesday afternoon. 

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Anchorage command center received a report about 6:40 p.m. from Adak Petroleum personnel stating an underground storage tank containing approximately 4.78 million gallons (114,000 barrels) of #2 diesel fuel had reportedly discharged an unknown amount of fuel.

The safety of the responders is of paramount importance. All responders have been operating  using appropriate personal protective equipment.

Adak is an historical site located 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Aleutian Island Chain.

Correction: Coast Guard responds to fuel spill near Adak
KODIAK, Alaska - Coast Guard Sector Anchorage personnel are responding to a report of a leaking underground diesel tank that has spilled into Sweeper Cove on Adak Island Monday.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Anchorage command center received a report about 6:40 p.m. from Adak Petroleum personnel stating an underground tank containing approximately 100,000 barrels of #2 diesel fuel had reportedly released an unknown amount of fuel.

Adak Petroleum personnel reported the diesel fuel is contained with boom within the cove and is also using recovery equipment to clean up the fuel. 

Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel are making plans to fly to Adak Tuesday in order to investigate the magnitude of the spill and monitor cleanup activities. 

Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Conservation, Environmental Protection Agency and Adak Petroleum are all working together to respond to the incident.





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