Incident Responses for December 2020

Posted Tue, 01/12/2021 - 13:43

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 14 incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

Here are some of December's notable incidents:

Bulk Carrier Runs Aground in Detroit River at Canadian Border

On Dec. 2, a bulk carrier reportedly ran aground in the Detroit River near Detroit. The M/V Harvest Spirit ran hard aground in the Livingstone Channel after experiencing a lube oil pump failure and dropping anchor. 

The vessel was carrying approximately 73,968 gallons of marine diesel at the time of the incident. The Coast Guard requested NOAA provide trajectory assistance for any potential spill. 

After a salvage plan from the Spirit was approved, the Coast Guard began refloating the vessel for transport. The vessel was successfully moved and anchored just outside of Buoys 1 and 2 in Canadian waters on Dec. 4, and the Livingstone Channel reopened to all downbound traffic. 

NOAA Responds to Antifreeze Leak Following Marina Fire in Toledo, Ohio

On Dec. 4, NOAA was notified of a green liquid, believed to be antifreeze, in the water associated with a fire at the Toledo Beach Marina in Ohio. The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit requested NOAA run a trajectory for the 225 gallons of antifreeze, as well as a resources at risk report. 

Vacuum trucks were used to remove the suspected antifreeze from a ditch directly behind the burned warehouse. As of Dec. 7, a total of 140,000 gallons of oily water and product was removed from the ditch. Drone overflights detected no further visible product. An engine oil sheen was visible in the marina, with contaminated water collecting in front of the warehouse and responders continued to remove water as it became visible. Nearby storm drains were plugged to prevent further spread. 

Hydraulic Fluid Discharges from U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spar at Kodiak, Alaska Dock

On Dec. 6, the Cutter Spar reportedly had a hydraulic fluid spill at the U.S. Coast Guard dock in Womens Bay near Kodiak, Alaska. The Coast Guards asked NOAA for a trajectory for the estimated 600 to 650 gallons of hydraulic fluid. 

Responders on scene deployed pollution boom and absorbent pads. A skimmer collected recoverable product using a vacuum truck. The source has been secured and the cause of the discharge is under investigation. 

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