Unified Command ends response efforts at Port William oil spill site

A Paradigm Marine excavator conducts beach-tilling operations to release trapped oil in the inter-tidal zone at a spill site on Shuyak Island near Kodiak, Alaska, April 7, 2018. The Unified Command determined that response efforts are no longer producing measurable results and were starting to impact the environment. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Alaska Chadux Corporation.

A Paradigm Marine excavator conducts beach-tilling operations to release trapped oil in the inter-tidal zone at a spill site on Shuyak Island near Kodiak, Alaska, April 7, 2018.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Alaska Chadux Corporation.

KODIAK, Alaska – The Unified Command announced the end of response efforts at the oil spill site at Port William, in Shuyak Strait, 49 miles north of Kodiak, Friday.

Responders deployed 3,280 feet of large inflatable ocean boom and 550 feet of fast water boom around the dock facility and an adjacent beach. Sorbent materials were placed inside the booms, which responders collected a total of 1,878 bags of oily waste.

In the seven weeks since the incident, as many as 54 personnel were on-site or in the incident command post from the responding agencies and oil spill response organizations. Eleven vessels were used to transport personnel, supplies, equipment and debris.

The collapsed building that contained the 3,000 gallon fuel bladder was dismantled by using a barge and crane, allowing personnel to safely access oiled debris under the building and nearby shore. Dive teams retrieved below-water debris. A crane removed containers of petroleum products and other potential hazards from the standing part of the facility.

On-shore, personnel used small excavators to move large debris and till sand and gravel to support beach cleanup efforts. The beach was deluged with water to wash oil residue into sorbent material for collection, and a crane barge removed oiled debris. Hot pressure washing removed oil from rock surfaces.

On-site personnel performed daily assessments of the shore and water around the spill site. There have been no reports of oiled wildlife in the surrounding area or of oil outside of the containment area.

“After a thorough assessment, we have determined that response efforts are no longer producing measurable results and are starting to impact the local environment,” said Geoff Merrell, state on scene coordinator, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. “The Unified Command is in agreement that this is the right time to wind down the operation.”

The Unified Command’s objectives to ensure the safety and security of the public and response personnel, determine extent and scope of incident, contain and recover spilled material, maximize the protection of the environment, monitor for impact to wildlife, and keep state, federal and the public informed of response activities were met.

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