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Utqiaġvik Simmonds Field Beach Tanks Release

Simmonds Field beach on the Beaufort Sea in the City of Utqiaġvik
June 22, 2021
Spill Id
Product/ Quantity
A private citizen noticed a buried tank leaking a dark, tar-like substance on a beach and posted photos to social media at 12:07 a.m. on June 22, 2021. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) was notified of the social media post the morning of June 22, 2021, and ADEC then contacted the North Slope Borough (NSB) to confirm the location of the release. NSB personnel were able to confirm the location and further document the release. The spill was reported to the US Coast Guard (USCG) National Response Center at 10:26 a.m. on June 22, 2021. The product spilled is undetermined at this time, pending laboratory analysis. Based on historical information, it is suspected to be asphalt or tar. There is a row of 38 2,500-gallon tanks, cabled together, that were placed on the beach for erosion control in the late 1960’s. One tank has been confirmed to be leaking, and there is evidence that there may be product leaking in up to 4 additional tanks.
Initial observation indicates corrosion or weathering damage to the buried tanks.

ADEC Situation Reports


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