Coast Guard reduces safety zone in Los Angeles harbor; clean-up of oil continues

Image provided by California Fish and Wildlife.

Image provided by California Fish and Wildlife.

LOS ANGELES — The safety zone issued by the Coast Guard, restricting recreational and commercial vessel traffic in the affected area has been reduced Wednesday, after clean-up efforts continue to show progress. The Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge has resumed operations and the Cerritos channel has been opened to normal traffic. These reductions will allow access to areas of the port previously restricted and also continue to ensure that vessels do not impede clean-up operations and avoid any possible contamination.

A helicopter flight completed by the Los Angeles Port Police, Wednesday at 9 a.m., determined no visible sheen outside or inside the boom area.

The responsible party for spilled oil in the vicinity of the 577-foot cargo ship, Istra Ace, continues their clean-up efforts that began Sunday evening. The Coast Guard and California Fish and Wildlife are overseeing all response efforts, while the Los Angeles Port Police and Los Angeles County Fire are assisting in monitoring the area.

The ship was reported to have been leaking heavy fuel in the Cerritos channel at Berth 198, after an initial investigation revealed faulty piping that may have allowed oil to leak from the starboard side of the ship.

The responsible party has contracted with the National Response Corporation Environmental Services and other sub-contractors to assist in efforts to contain, clean and recover the oil. The amount of boom is being reduced due to successful containment and clean-up of the oil within the affected area.

Active response efforts will continue throughout the day, while at night, a boom watch is in effect.

Contractors are continuing to clean with sweepers and sorbent pads around the vessel and other affected areas. A total of 18 response vessels have been assigned and working the incident.

California Fish and Wildlife recovery teams have reported additional observations of potentially-oiled birds. The teams remain actively engaged in wildlife recovery. If you encounter oiled wildlife, please do not attempt to capture the animal, instead please call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at the following number: 1-877-UCD-OWCN or 1-877-823-6926.

The responsible party would like to inform the public that if you feel that this pollution incident has impacted you, a claims process has been established. To make a claim, please call 1-888-850-8486.

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