JACK BARNWELL/Kodiak Daily Mirror

A boom deployed under direction of Kodiak Fire Department stretches across part of Potato Patch Lake Thursday after an oil sheen was reported, along with a diesel-like odor in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is leading the investigation.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Spill Prevention and Response Team is investigating the source of an oil sheen on Potato Patch Lake in Kodiak.

The spill, along with a diesel-like odor, was reported Wednesday by local residents, according to Jade Gamble, DEC’s Kodiak/Cook Inlet response manager. 

“The Kodiak Fire Department decided to deploy some booms to contain and clean up the oil spill,” Gamble said Thursday. The booms were laid out across the southern tip of the small lake located near Ismailov Street.

Gamble said a consultant has been hired to trace the source of the oil sheen.

“They are looking through ditches and drain storms to identify the source, but they haven’t pinpointed it yet,” Gamble said. “They appear to be getting close.”

Gamble said it was still too early to determine how much oil leaked into the lake. The effort to clean it up remains ongoing.

The Potato Patch Lake oil sheen isn’t the only problem the DEC team is handling in the Kodiak area.

Gamble said efforts are still ongoing to clean up the oil sheen and leak in Womens Bay caused by the scallop trawler F/V St. Patrick, which sank in 1989 after years of sitting in the bay. 

The sheen was first reported by a resident on Aug. 3, and now a month after it was reported, 10,000 gallons of oily water and 4,700 gallons of fuel have been recovered, according to Gamble.

The Coast Guard, which opened up the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to pay for the cleanup, reported the efforts to date have cost $3 million.

Gamble said dive and salvage teams are taking their time to determine how to remove the remaining fuel from the St. Patrick in order to ensure a larger spill isn’t created.


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