Petroleum Pollution in the waters of Dutch Harbor, Iliuliuk Harbor & Iliuliuk Bay

Sediment Sampling in Dutch HarborThe EPA has approved the final Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) documents for petroleum hydrocarbon in the waters of Dutch Harbor and Iliuliuk Harbor. These TMDLs address levels of Poly-Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) (a.k.a. oils and grease) in the bottom sediments that are in exceedance of the state water quality standard. Recovery actions include natural attenuation and prevention of additional hydrocarbon pollution. The approval of these TMDLs moves these impaired waters from category 5 to category 4a and will be reported in the next Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report. Category 4a waters are still considered impaired.

Background Information

  • These waters were listed as impaired during the 1990's for surface water sheening from petroleum pollution.
  • The DEC initiated work in 2006 to consolidate all existing petroleum hydrocarbon information for the area, define the potential areas of impairment and identify data gaps and understanding of the impairment.
  • The DEC conducted water column and sediment samples in strategic areas of Dutch Harbor, Iliuliuk Bay and Iliuliuk Harbor for petroleum hydrocarbon analysis in September 2007, April 2008 and September 2008. Reports are available to the right on this screen.
  • The results indicate impairment still exists in the sediments of Iliuliuk Harbor and in portions of Dutch Harbor sediments. Iliuliuk Bay is meeting hydrocarbon water quality standards and the DEC has proposed to remove the impairment listing.


Laura Eldred, Environmental Program Specialist
DEC Division of Water
1700 E. Bogard Rd., Bldg B, STE 103
Wasilla, AK 99654
Ph: (907) 376-1855
Fax (907) 376-2382