Date: 10 a.m. Friday, April 17, 2020
2020 Valdez Marine Terminal Admin Sump Incident
- The spill amount remains undetermined; as of 6 a.m. Friday, approximately 681 barrels (28,602 gallons) of water/oil mix was recovered.
- An overflight around Port Valdez early Friday morning spotted a small sheen just outside containment. A taskforce of fishing vessels is already in formation to address it with current buster boom and absorbent material.
- The source of the spill has been identified as a sump located about a quarter-mile uphill from the VMT small boat harbor. The source at the sump has been isolated and secured since Monday, but some oily water is still entering the water in the vicinity of the small boat harbor as the spill makes its way downhill.
- Boom and skimming operations are containing and controlling the additional oily water coming into the harbor. Engineers, inspectors and operations technicians are working to identify the spill’s flow route through a series of tests. On-land crews are digging snow, ice, dirt, gravel and fill, excavating the area around the sump to help identify spill boundaries and potential flow route.
- No injuries were reported from overnight work.
- TAPS operations have not been impacted.
- More than 200 people locally and around the state are involved in the response.
- On-water vessels summary:
- More than 21,000 feet of boom has been deployed
- 15 Vessel of Opportunity boats on scene, with four more ordered for additional sensitive area protection today
- 13 Alyeska work boats on scene, including landing craft, inflatables, river boats and others
- Precautionary sensitive area protection: On Wednesday, booming to protect two sensitive areas in Port Valdez – the nearby Solomon Gulch Hatchery and the Valdez Duck Flats – was completed and the areas have been monitored since. Today, as a precautionary measure and to prevent wildlife disturbance, a team of four vessels and a task force leader plans to place boom around two other sensitive areas in Port Valdez: Saw Island and Seal Island.
- A laden oil tanker, The Alaskan Explorer, was held overnight as an added safety measure so it could depart this morning in daylight hours. Another tanker is expected to arrive this morning and will be docked and loaded at VMT’s Berth 5, the farthest operational berth from the spill area.
- For the safety of response personnel and the public, a Temporary Flight Restriction area remains in place, set at 5,000 feet elevation and one mile in radius over the VMT working area.
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/.