Case: Cooper River, M/V
Date of incident: September 30, 2002.
Location: Charleston Harbor, South Carolina.
Case status: Restoration Planning.
On or about September 30, 2002, #6 fuel oil was discharged into the waters of
the Cooper River and Charleston Harbor, in South Carolina, from the
containership M/V EVERREACH as that vessel prepared for or left the harbor for
its next port of call. The volume of oil discharged has been estimated to be
approximately 12,500 gallons. The distribution of oil was predominately
concentrated along the western shore of the Cooper River between the Interstate
526 Bridge and the Cooper River Bridge, in the vicinity of the North Charleston
Terminal and the Old Navy Base piers and docks, but other shoreline areas were
also exposed to the oil in varying degrees. In all, the oil ranged over
approximately 30 linear miles of shoreline comprised of a variety of shoreline
types, including tidal flats, fringing marshes, intertidal oyster reefs, sandy
beaches and manmade structures (i.e., docks, piers, bulkheads), and their
associated sediments. The oil spill also resulted in the oiling of a number of
shorebirds, a shellfish bed closure, and a temporary disruption to recreational
shrimp-baiting in area waters. The natural resource damage assessment is being
pursued under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
The Draft Restoration Plan and
Environmental Assessment (Draft RP/EA) for the 2002 M/V EVERREACH Oil Spill
was released for public review on July 24, 2009 by NOAA and its natural
resource co-Trustees, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and the United
States Fish and Wildlife Service, acting for the United States Department of
the Interior. The Draft RP/EA summarizes the injuries to natural resources that
likely occurred as a result of the discharge. The Draft RP/EA also presents
restoration actions that the Trustees consider appropriate and are proposing be
implemented to compensate for the ecological injuries caused by the spill.
Public recreational uses of some resources were also disrupted, and those
losses assessed, but restoration planning to address recreational losses will
occur after those damages are recovered. Comments on the proposed restoration
plan will be accepted for 30 days (through August 24, 2009). Comments received
during the public comment period will be considered before adopting a Final
RP/EA for the ecological injuries.
For more information, contact Howard Schnabolk at
Everreach.Comments@noaa.gov or 843-740-1328.