Puerto Rico Oil Spill

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Coast Guard personnel were on scene at an oil spill in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico that occurred late Sunday night when an estimated 7,000 barrels or 294,000 gallons of #6 grade fuel oil leaked from a 24 inch transfer pipe used to move product from the shore side facility to tanker ships. All but 50 gallons were contained in the facilities secondary containment area and around the clock operations continue to contain and remove the oil.

The incident occurred when a transfer pipe burst 5,000 yards inland from shore at the Commonwealth Oil Refining Company CORCO facility in the port of Guayanilla. The oil was being transfer to the motor vessel Sorokaletie Pobedy, a Liberian flagged tank ship.

The National Response center notified the Coast Guard Command Center of the spill Sunday at 11:30 p.m. Coast Guard personnel from inspections office in Ponce, Puerto Rico were on scene by 1:00 a.m. Monday to ensure the leakage was stopped, containment booms deployed and all means available were being used to minimize impact to the environment.

By first light and throughout the day the team of responders grew to include Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality Board, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Puerto Rico Environmental Protection Agency, Emergency Management Association and Pueto Rico Police Department.

On Monday afternoon a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Borinquen and small boats from DPNR and PRPD were used to survey the impacted area and to locate the estimated 50 gallons that entered a nearby navigable waterway most of which is center within a dense mangrove area.

Cleanup crews continue to work around the clock to remove the liquid product from the containment areas.

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