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Exxon Bayway Refinery; Arthur Kill, New York

Arthur Kill, New York | 1990-Jan-02

Initial Notification: On January 2, 1990, at approximately 0300, an Exxon underwater pipeline located at the mouth of Morse Creek discharged approximately 13,500 barrels of No. 2 heating oil into the Arthur Kill waterway between New Jersey and Staten Island, New York. Exxon personnel notified the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) as well as other involved agencies, and activated the Clean Harbors Cooperative (Coop). Exxon company volunteers had periodically received practical training on how to deploy boom and other Coop equipment. This previous training expedited the decision-making process and allowed Exxon to begin response efforts immediately. Initial response efforts focused on containment of the spill as well as removal of the heaviest concentration of oil. Environmentally sensitive areas were protected with boom and skimmers that collected the heavier concentrations of free-floating oil. Since the incident occurred in January, few migratory birds were in the spill area. Even so, Tri-State Bird Rescue treated over 100 oiled birds that were recovered during the incident. Cleanup crews in the spill area found over 600 dead birds. A cleanup committee, consisting of representatives from USCG, Exxon, NOAA, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC), New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP), and New York City Parks and Recreation, monitored cleanup progress until the end of active recovery. On February 14, substantial deposits of fresh oil were found in sediments above peat areas on Pralls Island. Trenches were dug to collect oil for vacuuming. By March 15, all areas were considered "clean" by the Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) except Pralls Island where further cleanup activity was postponed due to the arrival of wading birds that breed on the island. Exxon received permission to apply Customblen, a nutrient enhancer for bioremediation, in this area after the fall migration. USCG district 1. Keyword: Customblen, Atlantic Strike Team (AST), Clean Harbors Cooperative, boom, self-propelled skimmer, Marco skimmer, JBF skimmer, vacuum truck, shop vacuum, sorbent boom, pompoms, trenches, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC), New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP), Tri-State Bird Rescue Center, volunteers..

Incident Details
Primary threat:Oil
Products of concern:No. 2 heating oil
Total amount at risk of spill: 567,000 gallons
Latitude (approximate): 40° 38.00′ North
Longitude (approximate): 74° 14.00′ West
On-Water Recovery: Unknown/Not applicable
Shoreline Cleanup: Unknown/Not applicable
Dispersants: Unknown/Not applicable
In-Situ Burn: Unknown/Not applicable
Bioremediation: Applied