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Hudson Valley Press

November 2nd, 2012

Arthur Kill oil spill cleanup

Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Stone, a response technician from the Atlantic Strike Team, monitors air quality with a gas analyzer while Motiva clean-up crews near Smith Creek remove oily waste and debris from Hurricane Sandy near Linden, N.J., Oct. 31, 2012. Photo: Timothy Tamargo

NEW YORK — The Coast Guard is continuing to oversee clean up operations at the Motiva facility in Sewaren, N.J. 

Product and water is being recovered by vacuum trucks from the secondary containment area and pumped into a separate onsite storage tank. As of 4 p.m., the  response organization has collected 151,200 gallons of oily water mixture. This material includes product transferred from one of the damaged tanks, secondary containment and on water skimming operations.

The response has reported four oiled birds and notifications have been made to Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.

Responders continue to contain and recover diesel fuel in the containment area around the storage tanks, in Woodbridge Creek, Smith’s Creek and the Motiva Terminal docks on the Arthur Kill Channel. 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. Approximately 14,000 feet of containment boom has been deployed.

The Coast Guard, along with NOAA and other federal agencies, are working together with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and officials from Middlesex County, N.J., to oversee spill containment and cleanup efforts. Primary concerns are protecting both the public and the threatened natural resources from any additional harm caused by the spill.

Normal air readings were reported after MultiRAE air monitoring tests were conducted by members with the Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team for the community around Smiths Creek. The MultiRAE is a combustible gas indicator that showed 20.8% normal oxygen levels, zero percent volatile organic compounds readings and lower explosive limits as well as zero levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide.

Motiva Enterprises is working closely with the responding agencies which include the U.S. Coast Guard, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Approximately 150 responders are taking part in the cleanup effort.

Continued assessments are being conducted via small boat up and down the Arthur Kill channel to locate any more recoverable oil. The Coast Guard is continuing to conduct over flights in the area to assess the impact of the oil.

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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