Unified command established for response to fuel spill on Adak

KODIAK, Alaska – A unified command has been established and is continuing to respond Tuesday to the discharge of diesel fuel from an underground oil storage tank into Helmet Creek and the small boat harbor adjacent to Sweeper Cove Monday on the northeast side of Adak Island.

The unified command is comprised of the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Adak Petroleum with support from Alaska Chadux, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, and NOAA.

Adak Petroleum reports the diesel fuel overflowed the underground oil storage tank while it was being offloaded from an oil tanker. The spill occurred on land, and some of it reached the small boat harbor via Helmet Creek. Further investigation by on site personnel report approximately 142,800 gallons (3,400 barrels) of fuel escaped from the underground tank, of which 1,000 gallons is estimated to have leaked into the small boat harbor.

Adak Petroleum personnel report that absorbent pads, three sections of hard boom, and additional spill response equipment are being used for spill recovery. Adak Petroleum personnel also report the diesel fuel is contained with boom preventing it from going into Sweeper Cove. Approximately 1,100-feet of hard boom and 75-feet of sorbent boom have been deployed.

Approximately 20 personnel from the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Chadux, and Trident Services are en route Adak and scheduled to arrive Tuesday afternoon.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Anchorage command center received a report about 6:40 p.m. from Adak Petroleum personnel stating an underground storage tank containing approximately 4.78 million gallons (114,000 barrels) of #2 diesel fuel had reportedly discharged an unknown amount of fuel.

The safety of the responders is of paramount importance. All responders have been operating using appropriate personal protective equipment.

Adak is an historical site located 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Aleutian Island Chain.

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