Unified Command established for heating oil spill in Kotzebue, Alaska

Coast Guard Alaska News
KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and Kikkiktagruk Inupiat Corporation established a unified command in response to a heating oil spill in Kotzebue, Wednesday.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation personnel notified the Coast Guard that Kikkiktagruk Inupiat Corporation, the responsible party, reported a spill of approximately 850-900 gallons of home heating oil from an above ground storage tank.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund was opened and a pollution responder and Federal On-Scene Coordinator Representative from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage deployed to Kotzebue Wednesday.

KIC reported that a large area of snow and gravel was contaminated and suspect some of the heating oil could have traveled onto the ice of Kotzebue Lagoon. No affected wildlife have been observed since the spill was discovered.

“Our primary concern is for the safety of the community and the responders as they work to mitigate existing pollution,” said Cmdr. Shawn Decker, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “We have deployed Coast Guard personnel to the scene and are working cooperatively with our State of Alaska partners and KIC.”

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation issued a situational report that can be found here.

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