Monitoring and recovery of oil spilled in Los Angeles Harbor continues

Image provided by California Fish and Wildlife.

Image provided by California Fish and Wildlife.

LOS ANGELES — The Unified Command of the Istra Ace oil spill that occurred March 13, 2016 continues to monitor the affected area and address the needs of recreational boaters in the surrounding marinas.

Members of the Coast Guard and California Fish and Wildlife continue to oversee all response efforts after the 577-foot cargo ship, Istra Ace, was reported to have leaked heavy fuel in the Los Angeles harbor while conducting a refueling operation.  The cause of the spill appears to be due to a faulty pipe onboard the cargo ship that allowed heavy fuel oil to escape the confines of the bunker room and leak out of a hatch on the side of the ship.  Coast Guard and California Fish and Wildlife continue to actively monitor all marinas and waterways affected during the incident to ensure cleanup activities were effective.

All safety and security zones issued by the Coast Guard, restricting recreational and commercial vessel traffic in the affected area were removed March 17, 2016. At that time the channel was opened to all vessel traffic, commercial and recreational. Similarly, all recreational vessels were able to sail through the channel as of March 17, 2016.

The initial estimate of oil spilled reported to the National Response Center was 50 gallons of heavy fuel.  Often times, initial estimates can be inaccurate and should not be reported as the actual amount spilled.  Typically, when calculating the amount of oil released, a variety of information is considered which may include amount of fuel oil transferred, fuel oil remaining onboard, areas of slicks or sheens observed, and the amount recovered.   A final amount of oil spilled has not been calculated at this time.

The responsible party contracted with several contractors to assist in efforts to contain, clean and recover the oil. During the initial stages of the oil spill response, clean up contractors contained and removed oil in the vicinity of the marina, from the channel, from the barge and cargo ship.  Currently, cleanup activities are ongoing in the vicinity of Berth 198 on the pier pilings.  Clean up operations on the pilings are contingent on tidal cycles, which limit the amount of hours the pilings are accessible for cleaning.

If you feel that this pollution incident has impacted you, a claims process has been established by the responsible party. To make a claim, please contact 1-888-850-8486.

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