Update: Thousands of gallons of oily water recovered from spill at trans-Alaska pipeline terminal in Valdez

The Valdez Marine Terminal. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Interior)

Updated story, April 14, 2020 — Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media

Thousands of gallons of oily water have been recovered from the harbor at the end of the trans-Alaska pipeline, but officials with the Department of Environmental Conservation say that the spill is contained.

On Sunday evening, crews reported an oil sheen on the water near the Valdez Marine Terminal’s small boat harbor. Personnel working for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, which operates the pipeline, reported the spill just after 8 p.m. on Sunday. On Monday evening Alyeska set up an incident management team.

A spokesperson for Alyeska said that the decision to set up an incident management was made after seeing the seriousness of the spill. As of 6 a.m. on Tuesday, the team had recovered 326 barrels, or about 13,000 gallons, of oily water from a 30-foot by 30-foot contained area that was being monitored by fishing vessels and aircraft.

An initial report by Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation suggested the spill was coming from a sump that had overflowed. The department said that the trans-Alaska pipeline itself was operating as normal.

Original story, April 13, 2020 — Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk

Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation is responding to an oil spill at the Marine Terminal in Valdez — at the end of the trans-Alaska pipeline.

On Sunday, equipment owned by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company malfunctioned and a mixture of North Slope Crude and water spilled under the snow. That mixture traveled over land and into the water in one of the tanker berths. 

The amount of oil that was released is unknown at this time, but crews under contract with Alyeska have corralled a 30-foot by 30-foot area of oily water and are attempting a clean up. 

The is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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