Incident Responses for June 2020

Posted Thu, 07/09/2020 - 14:39

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 20 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

Here are some of June's notable incidents:

Pleasure Craft Catches Fire, Sinks Near Matia Island, Washington

On June 2, a 41-foot pleasure craft reportedly sank in Rolfe Cove off Matia Island in the San Juan Islands, Washington. The Coast Guard safely rescued all passengers onboard before the vessel sank. 

The vessel owners reported that 350 gallons of diesel fuel was on board at the time the vessel caught fire and sank. When the vessel caught fire, it reportedly broke free of its mooring line and drifted around the northern point of the cove. 

The U.S. Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology both went on scene and worked with a salvage team to deploy a hard containment boom around where the vessel sank. The fuel tanks, made of a plastic material, were likely breached during the fire leaving no fuel left on the vessel. The fuel likely burned in the fire or was otherwise lost to the environment. Responders observed sheening from residual oil left in the vessel. 

Over 200 Gallons of Oil Discharged in Garden Island Bay Area, Louisiana

On June 18, 5 barrels (210 gallons) crude oil reportedly discharged from an underwater flow line in the Garden Island Bay near Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. 

Responders deployed containment and sorbent boom. The impacted area is within the Pass a Loutre State Wildlife Management Area, where the impacted vegetation is predominantly water hyacinth. 

During cleanup operations, responders collected about 4.5 barrels of oil by skimming. The vegetation impacted was either collected or flushed, and the containment and sorbent boom were replaced and collected. As of June 21, no wildlife impacts were reported.

840 Gallons of Oil Discharged in Delta Duck National Refuge, Louisiana

On June 23, 20 barrels (840 gallons) of crude oil reportedly discharged from a 2-inch gas line within the Delta Duck National Refuge near Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The source is secure and containment boom and sorbent have been placed around the area. Impacted vegetation includes water hyacinth. 

A facility operator had reportedly heard a loud pop when the gas line ruptured. Responders and personnel were immediately called and discharged to the area. Responders used a skimmer to collect the recoverable product and an excavator removed vegetation oiled by the spill—roughly 112 cubic yards of water hyacinth and an additional 532 trash bags that were hand picked. No impacts to wildlife have been observed at this time. 

Wellhead Leaks over 400 Gallons of Oil into Waterway near Charenton, Louisiana

On June 27, a wellhead was reportedly leaking near Charenton, Louisiana. Approximately 10-15 barrels (420-630 gallons) of sweet crude oil discharged, impacting an unnamed waterway. 

The U.S. Coast Guard authorized the removal of oiled vegetation, which included cypress, water hyacinth, and needlegrass. There were no reports of oiled wildlife. 

The majority of the free floating oil was removed, and cleanup operations continue for the impacted waterway and vegetation. Containment boom and sorbent remain in place to collect the oil and prevent further impacts. 

Here is the complete list of last month’s incidents, click on the links to find out more:

Incident Responses for June 2020

Posted Thu, 07/09/2020 - 14:39

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