Coast Guard awards contract to eliminate pollution threat

Coast Guard District 17 NewsVALDEZ, Alaska – The Coast Guard awarded a contract Monday to remove the source of pollution from the sunken landing craft Sound Developer in Cordova to Global Diving and Salvage, Inc. out of Anchorage and Seattle.

The project involving the 117-foot landing craft is expected to begin in early November with an end goal of removing the pollution threat from the waterway. In order to do this, Global Diving and Salvage will refloat the Sound Developer and transport it approximately one mile northeast of the small boat harbor to a City of Cordova owned mudflat on New England Cannery Road.

“Moving the vessel to the mudflat increases safety and access for the responders, creates a better worksite space increasing the range of equipment that can be used and marginalizes the impact of weather on oil removal operations,” said Lt. Roberto Trevino, Marine Safety Unit Valdez.

Once relocated, Global Diving and Salvage will remove and dispose of all oil contamination to the satisfaction of the Federal On Scene Coordinator. At all times, sufficient pollution containment and recovery equipment will be onsite to ensure any oil discharged is contained and recovered. Alaska Marine Response, a local oil spill removal organization, will be subcontracted for pollution control and containment throughout the project.

Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Valdez, the Coast Guard National Strike Force, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the City of Cordova, in consultation with key natural resource and endangered species trustees, will ensure all transportation, relocation, and pollution removal actions minimally impact the local environment.

The landing craft was taken out of service in 2003. The owner abandoned the vessel and it subsequently sank at its mooring in the Cordova small boat harbor in August 2009. Since sinking, the vessel has continuously produced oil sheen and efforts to mitigate environmental damage through containment and cleaning activities have been ongoing. The volume and type of fuels aboard is currently unknown.

For more information on the Sound Developer response please see the original story.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.