Date: 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, 2020
2020 Valdez Marine Terminal Admin Sump Incident
- Crews continue excavation and investigation of the flow path and primary entry point where oily water is making its way into Port Valdez in the vicinity of the Valdez Marine Terminal (VMT) small boat harbor.
- The outflow location is a culvert that ends at the shoreline within the primary containment boom. The outflow is currently discharging high volumes of snow melt and rain water with a minor sheen. Engineers are developing a plan to remove oil from the water flowing out of the pipe.
- Excavation continues over an area that is 40 by 40 feet around the sump (SU-3) that was the source of the spill to look for the oily water’s underground entry point. Care is being taken to dig around underground piping and utilities. Personnel are using air knives, which use compressed air to dig, for the majority of the work.
- Excavation at an area near the Oil Spill Response Building and SU-6, located downhill between SU-3 and the VMT small boat harbor, was completed without locating the flow path. Engineering is developing a dig plan for an area further west, which could be ready to excavate tomorrow.
- About 30 people are involved in the excavation efforts, including operators, laborers, surveyors and engineers in Valdez and Anchorage. More personnel and added hours of excavation are expected in the coming days.
“As our response work evolves, we’ll continue developing ideas to help us find the flow path,” said Mike Day, Incident Commander and Alyeska representative in the Unified Command. “This will include a great deal of planning and excavation, some of it challenging. We have confidence in our people and our deliberate approach to completing the work effectively and safely.”
- Response crews using skimmers and current buster boom continued operations through the day.
- An afternoon overflight of the work area and Port Valdez observed that all sheen was within containment.
- This area has been boomed since April 12 and boom has contained the spill.
- TAPS operations are not impacted. The laden oil tanker, Polar Enterprise, departed the VMT this morning (Wednesday), and another tanker arrived this afternoon. As added layers of safety and observation, tankers are currently departing the VMT during daylight hours.
- More than 240 people are involved in the response, locally and around the state.
- All are working in accordance with state, local and Alyeska company policies and mandates in order to protect the health of the workforce and the surrounding communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- 15 Vessel of Opportunity boats are on scene; 13 Alyeska work boats are also on scene, including landing craft, inflatables, river boats and others.
- More than 26,000 feet of boom is deployed. Response crews continue monitoring and maintaining boom systems.
- 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/.
|Overflight April 22|