Valdez crude oil spill twice as big as anticipated
An oil spill near the Port of Valdez is now twice as big as response crews originally expected.
Alyeska Pipeline says it's been working 24 hours a day since Thursday morning to contain a spill around the Valdez Marine Terminal. The company says a water-oil mix went into the port during a machinery test.
As of Saturday, the company had recovered about 400 gallons, according to a press release.
Andres Morales, Incident Commander of the operation said original estimates placed the spill between 50 and 200 gallons, but surrounding infrastructure created challenges for getting an accurate gauge.
Around 230 people are now involved in the clean-up, according to Morales.
"People have owned it, they're out there, they're looking at it. This is our home. For example, everyone that works on my team lives in Valdez, this is our home, they're taking it seriously and it's been a very effective response," Morales told KTVA by phone Saturday night.
The spill is still under investigation. Morales says he expects work to wrap up soon, but adds that the company will continue work until all oil sheen is cleared from the area.
"We're talking about crude oil in the water, that's unacceptable," Morales added.