Cargo Ship Leaking Oil Under Watch at Valdez
State of Alaska on scene coordinator John Engles inspects sorbent pads placed on the deck of the BBC Arizona following identification of multiple leaking containers aboard the ship in Valdez. Photo courtesy of the US Coast Guard.
At the Port of Valdez on Prince William Sound, the US Coast Guard in early June was holding a foreign vessel that was leaking oil from its containers.
Valdez, the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, is the home of some 40 commercial fisheries permit holders.
The BBC Arizona is an Antigua and Barbuda-flagged general dry cargo ship transporting transformers, accessories and transformer oil, being operated by BBC Chartering and Logistics of Qinhuangdao, China. The ship had come to Valdez to deliver steel I-beams and bridge parts.
On June 5, the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the city of Valdez and Gallagher Marine Services LLC formally established a unified commend to coordinate response to the leaks aboard the cargo vessel.
The BBC Arizona’s owner contracted with Emerald Services to actively manage the spill area and mitigate environmental damage until a cleanup, disposal and decontamination plan was approved.
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 were cut, the I-beams were to be thoroughly cleaned and inspected by the Coast Guard prior to removing them from the ship.
Sorbent pads and sausage booms were placed on the deck of the ship, scupper drains secured and a vacuum truck remained on scene to prevent oily water run-off from the leaking containers.