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 12 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.
Here are some of December's notable incidents:
On Dec. 4, 2019, a pipeline reportedly discharged about 15 barrels (630 gallons) of crude oil into Lake Pelto near Chauvin, Louisiana after an equipment failure.
The U.S. Coast Guard went on scene to assess the situation and discovered approximately 1 barrel (42 gallons) of oil collected in an island cove. Responders used containment boom to prevent further impact. No impact to wildlife was observed or reported.
On Dec. 9, NOAA received notice that an 88-foot fishing vessel had run aground in Brown’s Inlet near Swansboro, North Carolina after losing power. Sea Angels was carrying 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 4,200 pounds of shrimp at the time of the incident.
The vessel was listing and taking waves over its side. The Coast Guard rescued the four fisherman aboard using a response boat and a helicopter to hoist them from the boat.
No signs of pollution or oil sheens were reported. The U.S. Coast Guard requested NOAA run a trajectory for any potential fuel release using GNOME (General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment).
Lightering and salvage operations are expected to continue throughout January.
On Dec. 9, the Washington State Department of Ecology notified NOAA of an oil release from a rail car near Kennewick, Washington. The car released approximately 500 gallons of diesel fuel over 11 miles of track near the Columbia River.
The Environmental Protection Agency is the lead federal response agency for the incident. BNSF went on scene with contractors on clean up and removal operations. Minimal sheening was observed on the river’s west bank, and sorbent pollution boom was placed around a wetland located near the train.
The source of the leak was secured and BNSF continues to investigate the cause of the incident.
On Dec. 17, NOAA received notice of a fire that broke out on Dec. 16 at the Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Harbor near Mystic Island, New Jersey.
About 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel were released into the marina after two vessels caught fire. Clean-up contractors on scene deployed hard boom and sorbents around the submerged vessels. The oil was reportedly contained to the marina. Cleanup included removal of both oiled and non-oiled debris from the water and adjacent shorelines — the majority of which came from the burned structures of the two vessels.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
Here is the complete list of last month’s incidents, click on the links to find out more:
- Pleasure Craft MARCHELLE aground
- Bayou Bouillion Vessel Discharge
- Lake Pelto Equipment Failure
- F/V SEA ANGELS Grounding
- Finley BNSF Diesel Spill Hover Park
- Barge Ironmaster Tug Anglian Lady Aground
- Whitney Oil & Gas Tank Battery 49, Garden Island Bay
- M/V Levant - Pier Allision
- M/V TECUMSEH Engine Room Fire
- Sea View Harbor Vessel Fire
- F/V MANDY JANE sunk
- Port of Coos Bay Ammonia Release