Date: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2020
2020 VMT Admin Sump Incident
- The spill amount remains undetermined; as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, approximately 574 barrels (24,108 gallons) of oil/water mix was recovered.
- Extensive on-water and on-land response and recovery operations continued overnight and into Wednesday; investigation of the cause of the spill remains underway but the IMT has determined that the spill is unrelated to VMT berth loading operations.
- 13 Vessels of Opportunity in addition to Alyeska workboats are working the response on the water, placing boom and operating skimmers to collect product, providing surveillance, swapping out boom when needed, and providing logistical support such as fuel and water.
- The source of the spill was identified as a sump located uphill from the VMT small boat harbor.
- On land, crews continue to manually collect oiled snow and melted ice while awaiting additional machinery to accelerate ice melting and digging around the sump area.
- A helicopter overflight Tuesday evening noted a light sheen near Saw Island Buoy E; response teams skimmed the area and an overflight this morning confirmed there is no noticeable sheen outside boomed areas.
- Numerous environment taskforces are either working or standing by.
- There was one personnel injury reported during overnight work. A worker accidently struck themselves in the jaw using a tool, was seen by a medic, and released to work
- One deceased seagull was collected in a boomed area; wildlife taskforces are on scene and continue surveying the area.
- A Temporary Flight Restriction area has been established at 5,000 feet elevation and one mile in radius over the VMT working area.
- Precautionary booming to protect two sensitive areas in Port Valdez – the nearby Solomon Gulch Hatchery and the Valdez Duck Flats – has been completed.
- There are no current operational impacts to TAPS.
- An oil tanker, The California, was loaded with Alaska North Slope Crude without incident and is expected to depart around 9 a.m.; crews will closely monitor and ensure a safe departure.
- Another tanker is expected to arrive today at around 11 a.m. and will be docked and loaded at VMT’s Berth 5, the farthest operational berth from the spill area; crews will continue monitoring the area and will respond if needed.
BACKGROUND: On Sunday, April 12, at approximately 8 p.m., crews on the Valdez Marine Terminal observed a sheen on water near the VMT small boat harbor. Responders were on scene within the hour. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company stood up an Incident Management Team on Monday night in response to the ongoing investigation and management of a spill to water. On Tuesday, a Unified Command, with representatives from Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and the United States Coast Guard, was established to facilitate the ongoing response.
For information and updates on the response, visit www.alyeskaresponds.com and the ADEC site at http://dec.alaska.gov/spar/ppr/spill-information/response/2020/02-vmt-sump-oily-water-spill/.