Division of Spill Prevention and Response



Unified Command Drift River Fact Sheet: Water Usage Options


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (April 1, 2009) - The Unified Command, Drift River Terminal Coordination, presents the following information to address the questions about water usage at the terminal in the oil storage tanks.

  • The water supply at the Drift River Oil Terminal does not have the capacity to fill the tanks to the levels necessary to maintain structural integrity. (Approximately four million gallons)
  • No system exists to tie the water well to the tanks.
  • Once injected into the tanks, the water becomes a hazardous waste and there are no facilities onsite to properly dispose of it. 
  • We know of no tankers that will take on water into their tanks. Under standard operating procedures, tankers are not configured to transport oily waste in this quantity. 
  • The Christy Lee is not configured to berth barges at the tanker loading platform. 
  • Water introduced into the tanks at the Drift River Terminal could result in the shutdown of Cook Inlet oil production for months. 
  • All other tanks at the Drift River Terminal are out of service. 

For more information please visit: Coast Guard District 17 website at http://www.uscgalaska.com or the State of Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation Site at http://www.dec.state.ak.us/spar/PPR/response/sum_fy09/090324201/090324201_index.htm.