Leaks Repaired, Troubled Cargo Ship Heads for Mexico

A cargo ship
flagged in Antigua and Barbuda that had an unplanned layover at the Port of
Valdez, Alaska because of oil leaks has been cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard to
proceed on its planned voyage to Mazatlan, Mexico.

The Coast
Guard issued the BBC Arizona’s owner a federal notice of violation for failure
to notify the Coast Guard of hazardous conditions aboard the ship, a violation
that slaps the vessel owner with a $5,000 fine.

, operated by BBC Chartering and Logistics, was transporting
transformers, their accessories and transformer oil when leaks in the
oil-filled containers were discovered. 
The containers were moved to a shore side decontamination site to be
emptied, cleaned and later returned to the ship.

Field tests
confirmed there was no presence of PCBs, a hazardous substance sometimes
associated with transformer oil. Coast Guard officials said since the
non-contaminated oil is a commodity the product’s owner will sell it to the
highest bidder, in accordance with U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The cleanup
process involved the Coast Guard, state of Alaska agencies, the city of Valdez,
Gallagher Marine Systems LLC, Emerald Alaska Inc., Alaska Chadux, North Star
Terminal and Stevedore Co., and several marine survey firms.

The incident
began following a small fire and the discovery of multiple leaking oil
containers aboard the BBC Arizona on May 31.

Initially the
response involved environmental mitigation measures, offloading of all
Alaska-bound cargo and construction of a shoreside decontamination area.  Then came the offloading, emptying and
cleaning of the oil containers.

continues into the cause of the container leaks.