Spill at Anchorage tank farm

Posted: Friday, April 14, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Several thousand gallons of jet fuel spilled Thursday after pressure built up in a line connecting the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski with a tank farm on Government Hill in Anchorage, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The pressure blew a six-inch diameter cap on a strainer at the Anchorage tank farm, spewing fuel into the air about 11:40 a.m. The fuel overflowed a concrete containment area around the strainer and some got into a creek that flows into Cook Inlet, said John Bauer, a DEC environmental specialist.

But Tesoro Petroleum Co. quickly brought in five vacuum trucks, and workers siphoned up the pools of fuel on the tank farm's gravel pad, Bauer said. Absorbent material was placed in the creek.

''There's no fuel in Cook Inlet. I'm fairly confident of that,'' he said.

Oil workers dug some holes in the gravel pad and those ''sumps'' gathered fuel and water that was then collected by the vacuum trucks. The DEC originally estimated about 2,000 gallons of fuel spilled, but Bauer said the agency would have a better idea of the size of the spill once the liquid collected by the vacuum trucks was separated and measured.

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