State investigating release of 7,000 gallons of gasoline at Scammon Bay tank farm

Askinuk Tank Farm, Scammon Bay, Alaska From Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Seven thousand gallons of gasoline were released into a secondary containment vessel at a gasoline tank farm in Scammon Bay -- some of which may have escaped and migrated into the Kun River over a two week period in April, according to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

A situation report released by ADEC Friday afternoon says the suspected spill was first reported by concerned community members on April 23, and confirmed the following day by the tank farm operator, the Askinuk Corporation.

The cause of the release from the main tank into the secondary containment remains under investigation. ADEC says mixed water and gasoline were likely pumped over the side of the secondary containment by the tank farm operator, and an unknown amount of fuel may still be under snow and ice inside the containment vessel and in the area between the tank farm and an unnamed creek.

That creek and the wetlands adjacent to the tank provide habitat to migratory birds and fish, and the Kun River is classified as Essential Fish Habitat for all five species of Pacific salmon according to ADEC.

The report says the immediate concerns are effects to subsistence resources around the impacted area in close proximity to the spill.

ADEC and the U.S. Coast Guard say they are monitoring the tank farm through reporting from the Askinuk Corporation and environmental professionals employed by the Traditional Council.

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