Crews make progress cleaning up Valdez oil spill
After a few days of work, Alyeska Pipelines officials say oil that spilled on Thursday has now been recovered from the Valdez Marine Terminal. But officials say crews are still working to clean up an oil sheen that's still present.
Kate Dugan with Alyeska says that a look from the air on Monday indicated that the sheen is contained to two places along a small area between berths four and five.
Assessment teams, both on the state and federal level, have been checking the water. Dugan says that no shoreline outside boomed areas needs cleaning. But crews did identify a couple areas, about 550 feet of shoreline in all, that had light oiling on the shore between berths four and five.
"As with any crude oil that goes to the water, it's always a concern," said Lisa Matlock with the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council.
Referring to response crews she added, "They have protected several of the sensitive sites in the area including the Soloman Gulch Fish Hatchery, the [Valdez] Duck Flats and an area called Sawmill Creek. We feel that they have put appropriate resources to the response."
"We test for this. We train for this. We train for it year round," said Dugan. "We have large scale drills and small-scale drills. Anywhere from ten people to 200 people. And we never want to have to carry it out."
Alyeska officials say crews were doing some maintenance work on berth loading arms. Those carry oil from a storage system to oil tankers. After draining oil from the arms, for the test, crews shot salt water into the arms to check their integrity, but say an oily water mix back flowed through some temporary pipes and hoses that were connected as part of the test. The material went into the ocean.
Alyeska says crews did boom around the test area, but a boom was not placed in the area where the mix of oil and saltwater leaked.