Incident Responses for September 2021

Posted Mon, 10/04/2021 - 19:12

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 seven incidents in September, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

Here are some of September's notable incidents:

Fishing Vessel Spills Oil in Greater Farallones Marine Sanctuary

On Sept. 16, staff from the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary contacted NOAA to request trajectory support for a reported diesel spill in Bodega Harbor, California. 

Roughly 200 to 300 gallons of diesel fuel may have discharged from the fishing vessel Barbara Maria during a tank-to-tank transfer the previous evening. The Coast Guard observed a scattered sheen in other areas of Bodega Harbor and requested information on the oil fate and transport. 

Sinking Vessel in Ilwaco Marina, Washington

On Sept. 16, the U.S. Coast Guard notified NOAA of a 50-foot commercial vessel that was sinking in Ilwaco Marina, Washington.The Laura Marina had about 600 gallons of red-dye diesel on board at the time of the incident. Responders contained the spill with pollution boom, plugged the tank vents, and refloated the vessel. 

The cause of the incident remains under investigation. The vessel was salvaged and the final spill volume has yet to be determined. 

Chemical Spill at U.S. Steel Corporation Midwest near Portage, Indiana

On Sept. 27, NOAA was notified that an orange sludge-like substance was reportedly releasing intermittently from the U.S. Steel Corporation overnight and that morning near Portage, Indiana.

The Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, and state responders on scene collected samples and secured the source of the release. NOAA provided clean-up recommendations remotely for what was expected to be an iron sludge spill. 

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