The Lower Kuskokwim School District has two weeks to remove the diesel fuel from the Napakiak school fuel tanks to prevent an environmental disaster. The U.S. Coast Guard issued an administrative order to the school district on Friday, giving them until August 30 to complete the job.
The order came a day after the Coast Guard traveled to Napakiak to inspect the site after receiving a report earlier in the week about the Kuskokwim River advancing towards the tanks. On scene, the Coast Guard measured 76 feet between the eroding riverbank and the fuel tanks where about 36,000 gallons of diesel are currently stored.
“The Coast Guard is dedicated to the protection of the marine environment, and in this case that means we’re taking preventative steps to mitigate the potential for pollution,” Lt. James Nunez, incident management division, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, said in a statement.
In a press release, the Coast Guard states that the authority to issue the administrative order comes “if the threat of discharge presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health or welfare of the U.S.”