Date: 11 a.m. Thursday, April 23, 2020
2020 Valdez Marine Terminal Admin Sump Incident
- Response crews using skimmers and current buster boom continued on-water operations overnight.
- The primary boomed area has been reduced by two-thirds in recent days.
- Much of the evening work involved changing out boom and monitoring boomed areas.
- As of 5 a.m. Thursday, approximately 974 barrels (40,908 gallons) of water/oil mix has been collected from recovery activities on the water. Crews continue measuring and analyzing the composition of the collected liquids, a process known as metering.
- To date, approximately 12 barrels (511 gallons) of oil has been recovered from the collected volumes metered; in addition, less than one barrel (30 gallons) of oil was recovered from land.
- The exact volume of oil spilled remains undetermined.
- This area has been boomed since April 12 and boom has contained the spill.
- A Wednesday afternoon overflight above the work area and Port Valdez observed that all sheen was within containment.
- Crews will 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.
- Crews are working three excavation sites and plans are in development for additional strategic digs focused on understanding the flow path.
- The outflow of the spill to the harbor 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 have a plan to stop the flow of oily water from the culvert before it enters the small boat harbor; excavation work to execute that plan is expected to begin today.
- About 30 people are involved in the excavation efforts, including operators, laborers and surveyors in Valdez and Anchorage. More personnel are expected to join the work in the coming days.
- There were no injuries or incidents reported from the overnight shift work. On Wednesday afternoon, a dayshift worker developed a rash on their hands while wearing gloves. The worker saw a medic on scene and was released back to work.
- TAPS operations are not impacted. A laden oil tanker is expected to depart the VMT this afternoon (Thursday). As added layers of safety and observation, all 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.
- Many boats continue to work in the harbor area, from Vessels of Opportunity to Alyeska work boats like 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/.