10 pilings and oil debris removed as Crescent City tsunami pollution operations continue

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. - Response workers remove piles from the Crescent City Inner Boat Basin Wednesday, March 30, 2011. The pilings were removed to allow the crane barge to maneuver within the small area within the inner boat basin safely. The Unified Command's primary operational goal is to mitigate environmental impact to the harbor, so Crescent City can begin restoring its harbor as soon as possible. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Metcalf.

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Kevin Metcalf

Crescent City Tsunami Cleanup Operations Update

Location: Crescent City Inner Basin Harbor, Crescent City, California

Cause: Tsunami following 9.0 earthquake in Japan (March 11)

Operational Update:

• Five sunken vessels that posed a pollution threat have been extracted from the harbor.

• The crane removed a total of 10 pilings that impeded access to the remaining several sunken vessels in inner harbor that pose a pollution threat. A total of 16 pilings will be removed.

• As part of the removal process, the depth and GPS (global positioning system) location for each removed piling are recorded for use by the harbor during dredging and rebuilding.

• Cleanup crews have removed approximately 1,441 gallons of petroleum products from damaged vessels and 1,395 cubic yards of debris from the inner boat basin. A total of 1,300 feet of containment boom has been deployed.

• The Unified Command’s primary goal is to complete pollution mitigation operations as quickly and safely as possible so Crescent City can begin restoring its harbor.

• The current federal project ceiling from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is $2.75 million for pollution mitigation at the Crescent City Harbor. The project budget can be adjusted as needed.

• The Unified Command is working with more than a dozen local businesses, including commercial divers, restaurants and hotels, and remains committed to using local resources whenever possible.

• There are 49 personnel participating in the response effort. This includes USCG, DFG and contractors.

• Those seeking to transfer their fishing vessel permits should contact the Department of Fish and Game’s License and Revenue Branch at 916-928-7470.

Closures or restrictions:

• During crane operations, access will be limited to portions of “A” dock as a safety precaution.

• Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., C, D, E, and F docks are open to owners of vessels within the boomed off area. Vessel owners should contact Coast Guard Auxiliary members at the Harbor Office to schedule vessel access. For emergencies only, owners wishing to access their vessels outside of that time frame may contact the Coast Guard. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Personal flotation devices are required on all docks.

• Harbor is closed to the public at night, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., until further notice.

• Safety zone is in place for the inner boat basin only. The harbor is now open to vessel traffic.

Harbor operations:
Crescent City Harbor asks affected boat owners to contact the harbor at 707-464-6174 ext. 22 to provide the following information: Boat name, official number/VIN, fuel capacity, actual fuel onboard, and contact information.

Wildlife:
There have been no reports of oiled wildlife. Monitoring is ongoing.

Crews deployed:
U.S. Coast Guard, California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), Harbor District personnel and oil spill response organizations.

Information numbers:
Crescent City Harbormaster’s Office: 707-464-6174 ext. 22
Report oil: 1-800-852-7550
Report injured wildlife: 1-877-823-6926
DFG’s License and Revenue Branch: 916-928-7470

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