The Captain of the Port of Charleston issued a captain of the port order Nov. 2 on the 616-ft. container ship Star Fuji, preventing it from entering the port of Charleston until the leak on board is contained.
The Star Fuji contacted the Coast Guard and stated that a 20-foot long tank container on the vessel was leaking a small amount of chloroacetic acid in a 70-percent aqueous solution but that no chloroacetic acid had been spilled into the ocean. The Coast Guard required the Star Fuji to remain 12-miles off the coast of Charleston until the leak could be identified and safely contained.
The Coast Guard, DHEC, SPA and the Star Line are working with Moran Environment Recovery to repair the slow-leaking container, and the company is making arrangements to safely offload the impacted container near shore in a safe location.
No chloroacetic acid was spilled into the ocean at any time. Chloroacetic acid, which is used as an intermediate in a variety of commercial and industrial uses, such as, starch, caffeine and dyes, is harmful if inhaled or makes skin contact. The product rapidly disperses in air and water minimizing damage outside of the immediate vicinity.
The Star Fuji's last port of call was Rotterdam, Netherlands. The container is destined for Mobile, Ala.