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Trustees Settle Natural Resource Damage Claims Arising from January 2010 Diesel Fuel Spill at Port of Adak on Adak Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska


09/05/2013


oil spill containment booms stretched across Sweeper Cover and Adak Small Boat Harbor on Adak Island, Alaska, in January 2010Oil 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. The tanker Al-Amerat, in the distance, is moored at a loading dock. Photo credit: FWS.


On September 5, 2013, the federal and State natural resource trustees settled natural resource damage claims with Adak Petroleum, LLC arising from a January 2010 release of diesel fuel from Adak Petroleum Bulk Fuel facility on Adak Island in the central Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The settlement is embodied in a Consent Decree that was entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska.

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 142,000 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 fuel 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 – and natural resource services were injured by the spilled diesel fuel.

Under this settlement for natural resource damages in the entered Consent Decree, Adak Petroleum, LLC, will:

  • Fund and implement a Restoration Plan designed to restore natural resources and natural resource services injured by the diesel fuel spill;
  • 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.

The cooperatively-developed and publicly-reviewed Restoration Plan -- called Helmet Creek Restoration and Monitoring Work Plan -- is attached to the Consent Decree as Appendix A. This Restoration Plan selects the following five preferred projects to restore natural resources injured by the spilled diesel fuel:

  • Remove two trash racks from culverts in Helmet Creek;
  • Restore grade of Creek for fish passage;
  • Improve low flow passage inside the Creek’s culvert and above the Tank Farm;
  • Remove debris from the Creek and floodplain; and,
  • Revegetate banks to minimize disturbance and provide bank stability.

The trustees will monitor implementation of the Restoration Plan for compliance with restoration goals and performance standards.

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