Cleanup Underway After Small Oil Spill at Alaska Refinery

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KENAI, Alaska (AP) – State environmental officials are investigating the cause of a recent oil spill near the Tesoro Refinery in the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

According to a report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the refinery’s operator discovered the spill near a wastewater tank during a nightly inspection on Dec. 18. The report says Tesoro estimates the spill was made up of about 165 gallons of a crude oil and water mixture.

The company shut down all its pipelines connected to the wastewater tank and emptied the leaking pipeline as well as other lines in the area, The Peninsula Clarion reported (http://bit.ly/2hRlYp8).

The department found that the spill had reached a valve box buried 7.5 feet below the ground surface and about 3.5 feet of oily water was inside the valve box on Dec. 22. The spill had no impacts on wildlife and did not reach the Cook Inlet, which is about 1,000 feet away from the wastewater tank, according to the report.

Tesoro has brought in crews to clean up the area.

“They’re just continuing along,” said Jade Gamble, specialist for the Cook Inlet/Kodiak Unit Environmental Program. “Right now, our priority is just chipping (the oil) out.”

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