Heating oil spill threatening Yukon River

Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

STEVENS VILLAGE (AP) -- An estimated 750 gallons of spilled heating oil was threatening to contaminate the Yukon River, state environmental officials said Monday.

The source of the oil was coming from two places, said Tom DeRuyter, environmental specialist with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

The spill occurred Thursday during a fuel transfer when the daytank overflowed. Investigators also found a problem with a coupler in the village's tank farm.

DeRuyter said the spilled fuel has accumulated in a pond that drains into the Yukon River. An underflow dam has been constructed and a rope mop and drum skimmer are operating at the site to try and keep the oil from contaminating the river.

''As far as I know nothing has gotten to the river,'' DeRuyter said.

Another drum skimmer was being sent to the village.

By Sunday evening, 150 gallons of spilled fuel had been recovered. DeRuyter expected the cleanup to be completed later this week.

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