FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. has begun the second phase of cleanup and restoration of the oil spill that occurred last October when a bullet pierced the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
Daniel Carson Lewis is facing state and federal charges for the shooting, which occurred Oct. 4.
Starting Thursday, crews began working around the clock at the spill site, located roughly 75 miles north of Fairbanks.
Alyeska says the cleanup so far has cost about $7 million. Wes Willson, environmental team leader for Alyeska, said it will take several million dollars more before cleanup and restoration efforts are complete.
Willson said the current phase of the cleanup could take anywhere from 45 to 90 days.
So far 170,750 gallons of spilled crude have been recovered and reinjected into the pipeline and roughly 2 1/2 acres of oil-soaked trees have been cleared and stacked on the site.
The trees will be trucked to North Pole where they'll be chipped, then sent through a thermal incinerator as will the foot of moss and decaying plants bulldozed from the five-acre spill area.
''This is a pretty aggressive cleanup. We don't intend to leave any oil in place,'' he said. During cleanup efforts, Alyeska will work with the state Department of Environmental Conservation testing soil to ensure all of the oil has been removed.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.