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Crowley Receives USCG Contract For Ongoing Spill Cleanup In Puerto Rico

Charlie Nalen, vice president of Environmental Affairs for Crowley Marine Services, announced that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has awarded Crowley a new open-ended contract for ongoing oil spill cleanup activities, resulting from the January 7 grounding ofthe barge Morris J. Berman, less than 300 yards from San Juan, Puerto Rico beaches.

The contract calls for Crowley mobile teams to respond to various locations along a 70 to 80 mile (113 to 129 km) stretch of beach encompassing the entire west end of the island nation, where sea currents and tidal action lodged spilled oil within coastal reefs. Since there is no way to determine exactly how much oil remains in the reefs, USCG officials cannot specify where the oil will reappear, how long the cleanup will take or how much the final cost will be. According to Mr. Nalen, Crowley will receive daily assignments from the federal on-scene coordinator, specifying the size and scope of the "strike team" response. Crowley will provide the equipment, communications and crews for complete removal and disposal of the tar balls that are washed ashore.

Crowley was selected to handle the ongoing beach cleanup due in part to the major role the company played in the emergency response to the original spill. Crowley representatives were on the scene within hours of the grounding. Within a day, the company had begun to deploy approximately $50 million in marine equipment and oil spill supply assets that were used in the initial cleanup assignment.

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