Unified Command responds to diesel spill in Sitka Sound

National Response Center LogoSITKA, Alaska — A Unified Command has been formed to respond to a release of diesel fuel from the Jarvis St. Power Plant over the weekend.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation pollution responders from Juneau and members of Coast Guard  Marine Safety Detachment Sitka are coordinating clean-up efforts with the City of Sitka, National Park Service and tribal organization.

City of Sitka personnel received a report Saturday of diesel washing ashore in Sitka Sound.  City of Sitka notified MSD Sitka personnel who responded and recovered approximately 50 gallons of diesel.

The source was identified from the Jarvis St. Power Plant, Sunday, which had released an estimated 30,000 gallons of diesel into the storage tank facility’s secondary containment. An estimated 2,500 gallons of diesel leaked into the storm drain system and into Sitka Sound due to a reported failure of the drain valve.

The models suggest that the amount of diesel that has evaporated since the release is significant.

The containment drain was secured and all diesel in the containment was pumped out recovering an estimated 23,000 gallons.

An aggressive response has been mounted to minimize the amount of diesel reaching Sitka Sound.  Recovery of oil in the storm drain system and at the outfall of the storm drain with containment boom absorbent materials continues.

There were no reports of injuries, no confirmed reports of impacts to wildlife or theresources of the National Park.

“Cleanup efforts are continuing and we hope to mitigate the effects of the spill and remove the threat of pollution to the environment as quickly as possible,” said Chief Warrant Officer Michael Wortman, federal on-scene coordinator. “The Coast Guard will continue to work alongside our federal, state, and local partner agencies in response to this spill.”

The cause of the spill is currently under investigation.

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