Anti-spill gear boosted in Southeast

Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Another pair of oil spill response barges, paid for by the North West CruiseShip Association, has arrived in Southeast Alaska and will be moored at Ketchikan.

Two other pairs of oil-spill barges are moored at Glacier Bay and Juneau, and another set will be sent to Haines by late September, according to a statement from the cruise ship association.

The Vancouver-based group paid $1.3 million for the eight barges to ''fulfill its commitment to provide appropriate resources to protecting the waters of Southeast,'' President John Hansen said.

Cruise ships operating in Alaska had no regional response capability for dealing with oil spills prior to May, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.

Each of the large ships can carry up to 405,000 gallons of heavy fuel oils.

Before the new barges' arrival, the oil-spill-response equipment was designed for highly refined fuels, primarily diesel, and not the thicker oils used by cruise ships, officials said.

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