Date: 11 a.m. Saturday, April 18, 2020
2020 Valdez Marine Terminal Admin Sump Incident
- As of 6 a.m. Saturday, approximately 720 barrels (30,240 gallons) of water/oil mix was recovered. Crews have begun measuring and analyzing the composition of the recovered liquids, a process known as metering.
- Crews have metered approximately half of those recovered emulsified liquids;
- From those recovered volumes metered so far, approximately 8 barrels (315 gallons) of oil was recovered.
- Metering work continues and the exact volume of oil spilled remains undetermined.
- There were no injuries or incidents reported from the overnight shift work.
The source of the spill, isolated and secured on Monday, was a sump located about a quarter-mile uphill from the Valdez Marine Terminal (VMT) small boat harbor. Oily water is still entering Port Valdez in the vicinity of the VMT small boat harbor as the spill makes its way downhill.
- On-water operations: Boom and skimming operations are containing and controlling the additional oily water coming into the VMT small boat harbor. The majority of the spill is contained within the first two rows of boom, close to shore, and crews have been working within the boomed area to push the spill into skimmers to increase recovery. Noticeable sheen has been almost entirely within the boomed areas throughout the week.
- On-land operations: Testing, surveying, engineered excavations, exploratory digs and more activities around the sump area and beyond will continue today with the goals of: identifying the flow route of the oily water entering near the VMT small boat harbor; confirming the operational integrity of nearby Terminal infrastructure; and confirming that there are no other leak source
- An evening overflight Friday did not find any sheen outside of the boomed response areas in Port Valdez. Foggy conditions prevented an overflight of the response area this morning.
- More than 220 people are involved in the response, locally and around the state.
- More than 25,270 feet of boom has been deployed.
- 15 Vessel of Opportunity boats are on scene – four were released after completing a sensitive area protection assignment.
- 13 Alyeska work boats are on scene, including landing craft, inflatables, river boats and others.
- Friday, as a precautionary measure to protect nearby sensitive areas and prevent wildlife disturbance in Port Valdez, the team of four Vessel of Opportunity boats and a task force leader completed the placement of boom around two areas: Saw Island and Seal Island. Monitoring, as well as some additional boom and boom adjustments, will be made today. Booming to protect two closer sensitive areas – the Solomon Gulch Hatchery and the Valdez Duck Flats – was completed Wednesday and the areas have been monitored since.
- TAPS operations have not been impacted. The oil tanker, The Alaskan Legend, was being loaded this morning, with an anticipated departure of early this afternoon (Saturday). All tankers are being docked and loaded at VMT’s Berth 5, the farthest operational berth from the spill area. And as an added layer of safety, all tankers are departing during daylight hours.
- 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/.
|Overhead photo of the VMT Small Boat Harbor looking west.|