Thursday, February 24, 2011

Officials Looking Into Tanker Spill at Long Beach Port Terminal

Government officials are investigating the cause of an accidental discharge of 710 gallons of fuel oil Monday by an oil tanker berthed at a Port of Long Beach oil terminal.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach and California Fish and Game personnel are investigating the spill, which occurred at Tesoro’s Terminal at Berth 84A during an internal transfer of fuel onboard the Libyan-flagged tanker Aljalaa.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. on Monday the internal transfer process went awry and fuel was flushed over the vessel's deck into the water.

The USCG, DFG, and the vessel's emergency response management company, O’Brien’s Response Management, immediately established a Unified Command at the Tesoro Long Beach Terminal to coordinate the response.

Several oil spill response organizations responded to contain and to recover the fuel oil. Responders deployed 5,000 feet of containment boom around the affected areas of the wharf to isolate and control the spill. Vessel traffic was limited during the clean up.

No injuries or animal deaths occurred during the spill and clean up, according to the Coast Guard.

The incident is the second in less than a week at the port involving the Coast Guard. Friday evening a vessel at anchor was blown aground during stormy weather onto one of the man-made oil islands near the port. In this case no oil spill resulted, and a subsequent multi-agency inspection of the ship's hull found scraping but no punctures.