VALDEZ, Alaska — The Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, City of Valdez, and Gallagher Marine Services, LLC formally established a Unified Command on Wednesday in response to container oil leaks aboard the cargo ship BBC Arizona.
The Unified Command structure brings together representatives of all major organizations involved in an incident in order to coordinate an effective response while at the same time carrying out their own jurisdictional responsibilities. Under the Unified Command, various governmental agencies and non-governmental responders may blend together throughout the operation to create an integrated response team.
“Response to the ship’s container leaks has been a close collaboration between ADEC, the Port of Valdez, BBC Arizona representatives, and the Coast Guard since the start of the incident,” said Lt. Roberto Trevino, Federal On-scene Coordinator Representative. “Establishing a Unified Command allows those involved to build on established partnerships and provides a formal forum for all involved to make consensus, collaborative response decisions.”
On Wednesday, Emerald Services Inc. cleaned and decontaminated the area around the ship’s I-beam cargo in preparation to cut welded brackets holding the beams to the deck. Once the welds are cut, the I-beams will be thoroughly cleaned by Emerald Services Inc. and individually inspected by the Coast Guard prior to removing them from the ship. I-beams and bridge parts stored below deck are the only cargo being offloaded in Valdez. Sorbent pads on deck and boom in the water remain in place.
Personnel from the Coast Guard Pacific Area Strike Team arrived in Valdez Tuesday evening to augment Valdez based personnel during oversight and monitoring of the response. Strike Team members are trained and equipped to field test oil and determine the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The BBC Arizona’s owner contracted Emerald Services Inc. and Alaska Chadux to actively manage the spill area and mitigate environmental damage. Gallagher Marine Services, LLC, the designated Qualified Individual under the ship’s Vessel Response Plan, arrived in Valdez Tuesday and will serve as the ship’s representative within the unified command.
For photos of the response or for more information contact Lt. Allie Ferko at firstname.lastname@example.org, 907-835-7209 or cell 972-533-8185.
VALDEZ, Alaska—The Coast Guard continues to monitor the cargo ship BBC Arizona at the Valdez Container Terminal following discovery of oil leaking from the ship’s containers on Friday.
On Monday the Coast Guard mobilized the Coast Guard Pacific Area Strike Team to augment oversight and monitoring of clean up, disposal and decontamination of the BBC Arizona. The Pacific Area Strike Team, based in Novato, Calif., is a specialized Coast Guard response team, which deploys to assist on-scene coordinators during response operations.
The BBC Arizona’s owner contracted Emerald Services Inc. to actively manage the spill area and mitigate environmental damage until a clean-up, disposal, and decontamination plan is approved by the Coast Guard. Sorbent pads and sausage boom were placed on the deck of the ship, scupper drains secured, and a vacuum truck remains onscene to prevent oily water run-off from the leaking containers.
On Monday, under observation of the Coast Guard, Emerald Services Inc. opened two of the non-contaminated oil shipping containers to determine their internal configuration and assist in determining the cause of the leaks. Each container appeared to contain one plastic oil bladder spanning two-thirds of the container’s internal space.
“We are conducting a thorough examination of the BBC Arizona’s cargo to determine the safest course of action to mitigate additional risk to responders and the local maritime environment during clean-up and decontamination efforts,” said Cmdr. Benjamin Hawkins, Captain of the Port, Prince William Sound. “The ship will remain at the Valdez Container Terminal and cargo operations will not resume until decontamination is complete.”
The BBC Arizona is an Antigua and Barbuda-flagged general dry cargo ship transporting transformers, their accessories, and transformer oil. The ship is operated by BBC Chartering and Logistics with a last port of call of Qinhuangdao, China.
For more information contact Lt. Allie Ferko at email@example.com, 907-835-7209 or cell 972-533-8185.
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