Every month OR&R’s 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 identifying possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment. We also get requests to track and model other floating objects.
So far this year, OR&R has provided support to 87 incidents. In June, OR&R provided response support to 30 incidents, including 22 new incidents in seven states and two foreign countries (Canada and Aruba). The new incidents included 19 actual or potential oil spills, one mystery spill, one grounded deep-sea semi-submersible oil rig with contaminated ballast water, and one whale carcass. Staff prepared 182 new incident reports and documents, including 13 fate and trajectory analyses. Cumulatively, these incidents posed an approximate risk of over 2.25 million gallons of oils and chemicals—not including the oil rig's 8.4 million gallons of ballast water. (Note: Spill volumes are approximate and based on initial information that may be updated after further investigation).
Here are some of June's notable incidents:
Two Discharges in Cameron Meadows Marsh Oil Field in Hackberry, Louisiana
In February 2022, two separate oil discharges occurred in Apollo Energy’s Cameron Marsh oil field near Hackberry, Louisiana. A flow line elbow discharged a reported 5.5 barrels of oil, and a pipeline had discharged another 3 barrels of crude oil. Recovery of the oil was conducted using boom and sorbent. In June 2022, liquid oil remained at both sites and the U.S. Coast Guard contacted OR&R for input on recovery options.
OR&R provided input on recovery options, including an in situ burn, sorbent pom-poms, and removal of the saturated vegetation mat. Recovery operations remain underway.
Tanker Vessel Sunk Northwest of Aruba
On June 3, the U.S. Coast Guard notified NOAA that a tanker sank 130 nautical miles northwest of Aruba on May 27, 2022. The Caribbean Dutch Coast Guard reported an oil slick that was approximately 6 by 8 nautical miles.
The tanker M/V Cetus was carrying approximately 457,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil and 87,000 gallons of diesel at the time of the incident. Jamaica requested the U.S. National Response Team activation and NOAA imagery. OR&R provided trajectory analysis for the sheen and further potential spilled product. NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service reported no oil observations from the available satellite imagery at the time.
Diesel Leak from Commercial Fishing Vessel, in Grays Harbor, Washington
On June 21, the U.S. Coast Guard notified NOAA that a diesel leak flooded the engine room of a 68-foot fishing vessel around midnight and the diesel was pumped overboard. The maximum reported potential spill volume was 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The F/V Townsend ran out of fuel and was towed to Grays Harbor, Washington. NOAA provided trajectory support.
Here is the complete list of June’s incidents, click on the links to find out more:
- Two Discharges in Cameron Meadows Marsh Oil Field, Hackberry
- Tanker Vessel Sunk Northwest of Aruba
- Cedar Bayou Abandoned Tugs; Baytown, TX, USA
- Passenger Ferry Burning, Towed to Norfolk Naval Station, Hampton Roads
- Release of Gear Oil, St. Marys River, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
- Fishing Vessel Aground, Lois Island, Columbia River
- E-Crane Barge Sunk While in Tow, Louisiana Coast, Gulf of Mexico
- Fire on 30' Vessel off Decatur Island, WA
- Oil Discharge in Marsh from Unmanned Station, Port Neches, TX
- M/V LA7240FW Sinking; Buras, LA, USA
- Vessel on Fire and Adrift off Kodiak, AK
- 42' Fishing Vessel on Fire off Coast of Manzanita Beach, OR
- Fishing Vessel Aground, West End of Unimak Island, AK
- Potential Diesel Spill from Tank Barge under Tow offshore Eureka, CA
- Diesel Leak from Commercial Fishing Vessel, Grays Harbor, WA
- Mystery Sheen in 40 Arpent Canal, Chalmette, LA
- Crude Oil Discharge from Platform, Breton Sound, LA
- M/V TOO ELUSIVE Fire and Salvage; Portsmouth, NH
- White Mystery Substance on Saint George Island, Pribilof Islands, AK
- Dead Entangled Orca offshore of Newport, OR
- WWII Submarine Chaser Sunk at Pier, Longview, WA
- Request for Ballast Water Discharge from Deep-Sea Semi-Submersible Rig, Ingleside, TX