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New York Media Contact: (212) 668-7114

1st District Public Affairs

U.S. Coast Guard

News Release

Date: Nov. 01, 2012

U.S. Coast Guard

Contact: U.S.C.G. New York Public Information

Office: (718) 354-4270

Coast Guard oversees clean up of Authur Kill oil spill


View Motiva Oil Spill in a larger map

Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Stone, a response technician from the Atlantic Strike Team, monitors air quality with a gas analyzer near a Motiva facility while clean-up crews remove oily waste and debris caused by Hurricane Sandy near Linden, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. Coast Guard boat and helicopter crews have conducted shoreline assessments through the Kill Van and Kill Van Kull waterways observing pollution sites. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo.

Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Stone, a response technician from the Atlantic Strike Team, monitors air quality with a gas analyzer near a Motiva facility while clean-up crews remove oily waste and debris caused by Hurricane Sandy near Linden, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. Coast Guard boat and helicopter crews have conducted shoreline assessments through the Kill Van and Kill Van Kull waterways observing pollution sites. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo.

NEW YORK — The Coast Guard National Strike Force is overseeing clean up efforts at the Motiva petroleum terminals including its facility in Sewaren, N.J.  The outcome of these assessments will determine the timeline for a return to operations.

With regards to the Sewaren tank facility:

Four diesel oil storage tanks were damaged, two of which are believed to have released some of their contents.  Before the storm each tank held 336,000 gallons of oil.

The exact volume of diesel oil released from the tanks will be determined when crews are able to gain safe access to the tanks. 

Initial response actions were successful to stop the flow of diesel from the secondary containment area into Woodbridge Creek, N.J. The diesel fuel is contained in the area around the storage tanks in Woodbridge Creek, Smith’s Creek and the Motiva Terminals dock on the Arthur Kill Channel. Approximately 130 responders are taking part in the cleanup effort.

Product and water is being recovered by vacuum trucks from the secondary containment area and pumped into a separate onsite storage tank. 

Assessments of the surrounding waterways, creeks and community have been conducted. Contractors are working to remove contained pockets of oil in Smith’s Creek utilizing skimmers, vacuum trucks, absorbent pads, and absorbent boom. Additional cleanup actions are ongoing around the docks.

The Atlantic Strike Team conducted air monitoring for the community around Smiths Creek and had normal air readings.

Continued assessments are being conducted via small boat up and down the Arthur Kill channel to locate any more recoverable oil. No sheen or oil was reported in the navigable channel or on the New York side of the channel this morning. The Coast Guard is continuing to conduct over flights in the area to assess the impact of the oil.

The Coast Guard is working with Motiva, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and with Middlesex County Officials to monitor cleanup efforts.

Motiva has appropriately taken responsibility for the incident and has fully implemented their facility response plan to include a formal incident command system being established. 

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