Unified Command responds to diesel spill in Kaktovik, Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Unified Command has been established in response to a diesel fuel discharge discovered Monday from a North Slope Borough-owned storage tank in Kaktovik.

The product discharged was ultra-low sulfur diesel that discharged from an above-ground storage tank with a total capacity of 5,000 gallons. The tank reportedly discharged an estimated 4,200 gallons of diesel. The discharge impacted a gravel pad and a ditch one quarter of a mile from the Kaktovik Lagoon leading to the Beaufort Sea.

Coast Guard and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation pollution responders are expected to be on scene by Friday to conduct assessments and monitor cleanup efforts. The North Slope Borough hired the response organization Alaska Response Services, which has a team on scene surveying the scope of the spill. Additional equipment and personnel are scheduled to arrive in Kaktovik Thursday.

Current containment efforts include the construction of snow berms to mitigate further impact and spread of the diesel. The area is covered by snow and ice, which serves to limit the spread of fuel and protect the underlying tundra until cleanup can occur.

The North Slope Borough reported that the discharge has not resulted in facility closures. There is no fuel shortage for the community. No injuries have been reported.

“We are working diligently with the Coast Guard, ADEC and the community to mitigate any potential environmental impacts of this discharge,” said Ian Stroud, Division Manager, North Slope Borough.

The Unified Command consists of the Coast Guard, ADEC and the North Slope Borough.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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