Unified Command, Joint Information Center Confirm Avon Tug Boat Incident

MARTINEZ, Calif.  – Representatives of the Avon Tug Boat Incident emergency response team -representing the United States Coast Guard, California Dept. of Fish & Game-Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company, and Marine Spill Response Corporation-have confirmed that they are responding to the collision of an ocean-going tug boat early this morning into the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery’s Avon wharf, on the southern shore of the Carquinez Strait, which has resulted in the release of approximately 1,500 gallons of gasoline into the waters of Suisun Bay, approximately 1.5 miles east of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.

The collision occurred at approximately 12:20 A.M., when the AmNav Maritime Services tug boat, Independence, which was headed west-bound towards San Francisco Bay, struck the landward side of the refinery wharf. Circumstances surrounding the collision are under investigation by regulatory authorities.

There were no vessels at the wharf and no activities at the time of the collision. No injuries were reported at the wharf or aboard the tug boat, and there is no indication of any impact on wild life or endangered species. All appropriate regulatory authorities -including the National Response Center, Contra Costa County Office of Emergency Services, San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and California Highway Patrol– have been notified of the incident. Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC), Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) and the U.S. Coast Guard have several vessels in the water in the vicinity, assessing the extent of the hydrocarbons released to the water, and whether containment and recovery operations are advisable.

The Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, which employs 750 workers, is located approximately 30 miles east of San Francisco. The refinery’s Avon Wharf is employed primarily to load tank ship vessels and barges for transport of motor fuels throughout the West Coast.

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