Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.
This month OR&R responded to 11 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.
Here are some of April's notable incidents:
On April 12, an oily water discharge reportedly came from the Valdez Marine Terminal into Port Valdez in Alaska. A silver sheen, 180 ft. by 50 ft. in size, was observed near the source of the release. The source was determined to be a failed sump, which has been secured.
The Coast Guard contacted NOAA for remote support. Protective boom was placed around the source and the sheen. During an overflight, responders so no findings of escaped oily water beyond the site. Skimming operations were used to collect the oily water mixture.
As of May 4, 56,700 gallons of oily water had been recovered — 716 gallons of which was oil. Oil recovery operations are ongoing, and responders continue to monitor for further impacts.
On April 13, a tug boat ran aground while pushing a double-hulled barge near Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. The barge, the Margaret, was carrying 95,000 gallons of diesel at the time of the incident.
The Coast Guard requested a trajectory and resources at risk report for any potential spill. Due to the shared bodies of water at the border, the Canadian Coast Guard and Environment Canada are also responding to the spill. There have been no reports of pollution, and there doesn’t appear to be any damage to the hull. Responders plan to offload the fuel before attempting to move the barge.
On April 16, a 21-foot powerboat ran aground near the rock jetty outside of Haleiwa Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. The Coast Guard airlifted two people aboard to safety.
The Coast Guard contacted NOAA for an analysis of oil fate in the event of a release. The maximum potential release includes the 50 gallons of gasoline aboard, as well as the lube oils and two marine batteries. There have been no reports of pollution at this time.
On April 17, a gasoline tanker rolled over in a traffic circle in Revere, Massachusetts, spilling 11,000 gallons of gasoline.
Firefighting foam was immediately applied to the spilled oil and traffic to the circle was closed off. The area around the spill was evacuated as well. The damaged tanker truck was removed from the scene. Due to a downward slope, the spilled oil went into a nearby storm drain and filled the catch basin. The oil then traveled to a cross flow from the Pines River and began to spread — causing an unknown amount of oil to discharge into the river.
The surrounding soil, nearby marshland, creeks, and Pines River are being monitored for possible environmental impacts. Containment boom was placed around the discharged oil in the channel to prevent further spread.
Here is the complete list of last month’s incidents, click on the links to find out more: