Guam – The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that together with Guam Shipyard, 160-thousand gallons of oil has been safely transferred to approved storage locations, without incident.
During a routine Coast Guard inspection in Janaury, the oil products were discovered in 3 unapproved locations and it “required removal”, according to a Coast Guard release.
Those locations were in storage tanks located on a fuel barge, in a sewage barge and within the dry dock owned by Guam Shipyard.
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Justin Valentino told PNC News that the response effort has concluded but the investigation continues.
Both U.S. EPA and Guam EPA have been notified and are involved in the ongoing investigation.
Fines are a possibility said Lt. Valentino, but whether or not a fine would be imposed, and how big that fine would be were questions that he said he could not address at this time.
READ the release from the USCG below:
UNIFIED COMMAND COMPLETES REMOVAL OF STORED OIL PRODUCTS
On March 8, the Unified Command established between Guam Shipyard, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, and Naval Base Guam completed all oil removal operations from three separate storage locations.
In early January, Coast Guard facility inspectors identified a large amount of oily product stored in several locations which required removal. The oil products were found in storage tanks located in a fuel barge, a sewage barge, and a dry dock which are owned by Guam Shipyard.
Working within the Unified Command, the shipyard developed a comprehensive removal plan which included stringent safety protocols. Thorough testing was conducted to ensure disposal methods were in accordance with all federal regulations, and mitigated any possible risk to the environment.
The Unified Command members diligently worked through all response measures, and safely removed over 160,000 gallons of oil to approved storage locations. This transfer took place without any oil product entering the waterways around Guam and without injury to any response personnel.
“This successful response demonstrates the commitment of all the members of the Unified Command to act as stewards of Guam’s sensitive and vital marine resources,” said Cmdr. Brenden Kettner, Coast Guard Sector Guam deputy commander. “Guam Shipyard, in coordination with our local partners, took great efforts to work within the Incident Command and effectively and safely removed the oil.”
Guam Shipyard continues to work with the Coast Guard to transfer the barges to caretaker status. Guam Shipyard is also updating their oil handling and disposal procedures to effectively handle oil and waste removal from ships.