First oil spill response drill planned near Nome

  • By Associated Press
  • Monday, July 14, 2014 11:23pm
  • News

NOME (AP) — An oil spill response drill is set to take place at Port Clarence northwest of Nome on Wednesday in a region where industrial projects are proposed.

Spill response company Alaska Chadux is among those participating in the exercise near Teller and Brevig Mission, KNOM reported.

“It’s a new place for an exercise like this,” said Chadux general manager Matt Melton. “Obviously the remoteness of Nome and Teller and Brevig brings some different challenges.”

The goal is to deploy equipment from Nome to Teller over the 72-mile road connecting the two communities. Participants will put deflection boom on the Port Clarence side to simulate a fuel spill and try to keep it out of Grantley Harbor, Melton said.

Other participants are the Alaska Department of Conservation, and Gay Sheffield, a marine biologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks marine advisory program.

The conservation department considers the drill a small-scale version of a larger exercise the agency would like to try in a year. The idea is to get a better sense of how far or close stakeholders actually are in case of an industrial accident near the Bering Strait.

Sheffield, who is volunteering to observe wildlife during Wednesday’s drill, said the exercise will help establish the degree of readiness in the region.

“It’s a win-win: if the drill is a success then we’ll know we have that much capability to deflect, or remove, or collect any kind of pollution in the water,” she said. “If it’s not a success then we’ll know that we need more, and we’ll be able to say that — we’ll be able to say this wasn’t successful and we need more equipment, or attention, or a better way to do it.”

John Kotula with the conservation department said participants will be drawing on local knowledge to better assess areas deemed important for economic and historical purposes.

The exercise comes amid proposed industrial projects covering an area that Teller and Brevig Mission residents rely on for subsistence.

A deep water port for vessels in Arctic waters could be developed at Port Clarence. Other possible projects being looked at in the region are a potential graphite mine and a gold-dredging operation.

More in News

Soldotna City Council members convene for a work session to discuss how the city should use federal COVID-19 recovery funds on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna council to review mini grant applications next week

Soldotna City Council members will convene earlier than usual Wednesday to mull… Continue reading

Voters cast ballots in Alaska’s special general and regular primary elections at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Division of Elections data: Primary turnout higher than previous elections

Turnout among central Kenai Peninsula voters in Tuesday’s primary election was higher… Continue reading

Elisif Harro, Mark Harro and Daniel Harro. (Photo courtesy John and Denise Harro)
‘We lost 2 first-class people’

Daniel, Mark Harro die in Idaho plane crash

Two trombone players and a saxophone perform during a KCHS Marching Band practice on Aug. 18, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
KCHS strikes up the band

Only a couple of days into the new school year, Kenai Central… Continue reading

Man wanted in relation to Amber Alert arrested; missing teenager found

A Fairbanks man wanted in connection to an Amber Alert was arrested… Continue reading

School district extends meal program deadline amid confusion

Credit for breakfast and lunch meals will be provided as needed to… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks at the Kenai Classic Roundtable at Kenai Peninsula College on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bycatch stirs debate at fisheries roundtable

Bycatch was the issue du jour at Wednesday’s annual Kenai Classic Roundtable… Continue reading

Kenai Peninsula College Director Cheryl Siemers in her office on Aug. 18, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
KPC to welcome back community with open house

One week before the start of the fall semester, Kenai Peninsula College… Continue reading

National Weather Service radar for the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska on Aug. 17, 2022. (Screenshot)
Rain, rain and more rain

Low pressure systems drive wet conditions in Southcentral

Most Read