DEC responding to 2 Alaska Peninsula spills

Posted: Thursday, February 22, 2001

CHIGNIK (AP) -- About 300 gallons of waste oil spilled when a valve on a storage tank at the Norquest Seafoods cannery was left open, officials said Wednesday.

The waste oil flowed into the floor drains of the company's power plant building and out through a drain pipe onto the ground. The oil ran into Indian Slough, a stream near the cannery on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula.

The spill was discovered Tuesday. Cannery and city workers placed a hard containment boom in the slough to prevent the oil from moving with the tide. Cleanup crews also used absorbent booms and pads to soak up the oil.

In a separate incident on the north side of the Alaska Peninsula, an undetermined amount of bunker fuel was found leaking from an abandoned barge in Ugashik. Spill response equipment was shipped to the village last Friday and absorbent materials were placed around the vessel.

Bunker fuel appears to be leaking out of the starboard tank of the vessel, DEC said Wednesday. Globules of oil were seen on the mudflats of the Ugashik River. The area is fished heavily by set-net fishermen during the summer.

The barge, called the Windray, was abandoned after it burned in the early 1950s. In 1996, 450 gallons of fuel remaining on the barge was removed. Residual oil in the fuel tanks could not be removed.

A DEC spill specialist was to travel to the site Thursday to determine if removal of residual oil and shore cleanup is necessary.

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