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6,000 gallons of diesel spill in Kwigillingok after storage tank overflows

Kwigillingok, AK
Darrel John
Kwigillingok, AK

According to an initial report from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), more than 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in the coastal village of Kwigillingok at a fuel storage facility owned by Kwik Inc. The spill happened overnight between Feb. 7 and Feb. 8.

An initial ADEC report released on Feb. 9 said that the spill happened during a tank-to-tank transfer when a 10,000-gallon tank was overfilled by a transfer pump. Kwig Inc. operators reportedly shut off the 20-gallon-per-minute pump as soon as the overflow was discovered in the morning on Feb. 8.

Operators estimate that approximately 6,467 gallons of diesel fuel spilled onto the frozen tundra and a nearby pond. As of the afternoon of Feb. 9, no fuel was reported to have spilled into the Kwigillingok River and around 95 gallons of the spilled fuel had been recovered.

The cause of the spill is under investigation but “human error is suspected,” according to the initial situation report.

ADEC and the United States Coast Guard are mobilizing teams to assist Kwik Inc. and the Native Village of Kwigillingok with site evaluation and cleanup.

This is a developing story. KYUK will post updates as more information becomes available.

Sage Smiley is KYUK's news director.