Justice Opens 30-Day Public Comment Period on Proposed Settlement for Natural Resource Damages for 2010 Diesel Spill at Adak Island, Alaska
Oil spill containment booms are stretched across Sweeper Cove and Adak Small Boat Harbor, shown here on January 12, 2010, following the diesel fuel spill from Adak Petroleum Bulk Fuel facility on Adak Island, Alaska. Natural resources, including anadromous fish, marine shellfish and migratory birds were injured by the spilled oil. Photo credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, USCG.
On July 10, 2013, U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement for natural resource damages with Adak Petroleum, LLC arising from a January 2010 release of diesel fuel from the Adak Petroleum Bulk Fuel facility on Adak Island in the central Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska on July 10, 2013.
The natural resource trustees in this case include:
- State of Alaska, represented by Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Alaska Department of Law;
- U.S. Department of Commerce, represented by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and,
- U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The oil spill happened on January 11, 2010 at the Adak Petroleum Bulk Fuel facility at the Port of Adak on Adak Island, 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. An estimated 143,000 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled when an underground storage tank at Helmet Creek Tank Farm was overfilled during a fuel transfer operation from the tanker Al-Amerat, moored nearby at a loading dock. The spilled diesel entered Helmet Creek, traveling the lower 2 km of the Creek to Adak Small Boat Harbor and eventually Sweeper Cove, fouling riparian habitat, wetlands, marine habitat and shorelines. Natural resources -- including anadromous fish, marine shellfish, migratory birds and their habitats -- were injured by the spilled diesel.
Under the proposed settlement in the lodged Consent Decree, Adak Petroleum, LLC, will:
- Implement the cooperatively-developed Helmet Creek Restoration and Monitoring Work Plan designed to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by the spill by: removing trash racks from Helmet Creek, clearing floodplain debris, restoring Creek grade to allow for anadromous fish passage and re-vegetating Creek banks for stability;
- Pay federal trustees' past assessment costs totaling $272,875.91, including $8,164.32 for DOI's past costs;
- Pay State trustees' past assessment costs totaling $4,151.17 and,
- Pay the trustees' future oversight costs.
Written comments on the proposed Consent Decree must be received by U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division by Friday, August 9, 2013.
- Federal Register Notice (dated July 10, 2013)
- Complaint (filed July 2, 2013)
- Proposed Consent Decree (lodged July 2, 2013)
- DOJ website for Proposed Consent Decree
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