REI was notified when a local oil truck was making a regular delivery of diesel fuel to a high-speed ferry between Cape Cod and Nantucket when the driver had a medical emergency. An estimated 2,050 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from the ferry’s tank vent into Hyannis Harbor. REI contacted the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and National Response Center relative to a discharge to a waterway. The US Coast Guard assumed incident command and the harbor was shutdown to navigation. REI mobilized remediation contractors to the incident.
Wind and tide had moved the oil from the dock approximately 2,000 feet to the northeast to Lewis Bay. Containment boom was installed blocking the inner harbor to prevent any outward migration in the event of wind or tide shift. Because of the foggy conditions a Coast Guard vessel was positioned at the mouth of the harbor to keep boats from entering.
Under REI’s direction vacuum trucks were utilized along the shoreline to vacuum accumulating oil. Workboats and the USCG and local assets were utilized to attempt to corral oil with boom and allow more efficient vacuuming of fuel. A fractionation tank was brought to the site to allow the vacuum trucks to off load allowing them to continue to vacuum fuel from the surface. Roll-off containers were staged at the site for collection of absorbents used to remove product from areas unreachable by the vacuum trucks or where levels had diminished and vacuuming was less feasible.
Within 12 hours it was estimated that approximately 70% of the fuel was removed from the water’s surface. Efforts continued around the clock. The following day the USCG determined that the harbor could be fully opened and ferry service resumed.
The response actions including follow up assessment and ecological risk characterization were all managed by REI’s Massachusetts Licensed Site Professional.