Coast Guard Leads Hawaiian Oil Spill Response

HONOLULU — Coast Guard pollution investigators are on scene near Ko Olina in response to an oil sheen that stretches from Barbers Point to the Kahe Power Plant. Coast Guard pollution investigators estimate a spill of approximately 500 gallons caused the sheen.

The Coast Guard was notified at 11:10 a.m. Saturday of a 3-mile sheen in that area and an HH-65 dolphin helicopter and crew was immediately launched. The aircrew reported the sheen to be stationary and more than 20 yards off shore.

A 47-foot motor lifeboat and crew from Coast Guard Station Honolulu and a C-130 search plane and crew from Air Station Barbers Point are on scene. The Coast Guard is working closely with state and county officials and with the Clean Islands Council.

The national oil spill recovery fund (under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990) has been opened and the Pacific Environmental Corporation (PENCO) has been hired to conduct the cleanup. PENCO is on scene with small boats and personnel on shore. There has been some shoreline fouling reported by Coast Guard pollution investigators and the Honolulu Fire Department.

“It’s mostly off shore at this point, but there is some shoreline impact,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Cameron. “We’ll be out here working to ensure there is as little impact to the environment as possible.”

The source of the oil is currently under investigation. Oil was reported to be in the marina, along the Ko Olina beaches, in the Ko Olina Lagoons and as far north on the Waianae Coast as Nanakuli.

“We are conducting air, land and sea assessments and working very closely with the state,” said Coast Guard Capt. Barry Compagnoni, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Honolulu. “We are working to determine the extent and the source of the pollution.”

An incident command post has been established at Sand Island’s Clean Islands Council. Samples of the fuel were sent this afternoon to the University of Hawaii for analysis.

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