Cleanup continues at Shuyak Island spill

Photo of site on Shuyak Island. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Chadux)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Oil response vessels are still at the site of a spill roughly 50 miles north of the City of Kodiak. The Coast Guard contracted with Alaska Chadux on the response.


Last Monday, according to a situation report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, high winds caused the collapse of a dock on the south end of Shuyak Island at Port William. In the process, a building and up to 3,000 gallons of a heavy fuel oil was knocked into the water.

Geoff Merrell, state on-scene coordinator with DEC, says the caretaker in residence at the facility originally reported the collapse. While high winds delayed oil response vessels from making it out to the spill, Merrell says they’re now active at the site.

Merrell says they have several areas surrounded with containment boom and are using absorbent pads.

“The oil that is spilled is not transporting or traveling or leaving the site. We’ve got it pretty well hemmed in at this point.”

He says responders are trying to figure out how to access the original site of the spill at the fallen building and dock.

“The oil is in the back and it’s behind all of this collapsed structure and debris and kinda in the tidal zone, and so we need to clear all that out of the way before we can even access the oil to clean it up.”

He says they identified other tanks of oil stored on site and they’re trying to determine how to approach that and whether to remove them or not.

“The integrity of one of the buildings at least that was housing the oil at this point it not so hot, not so great.”

Merrell could not confirm what the facility is currently be used for. A public information officer with DEC says they’re looking into making contact with the owner.

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