Public Invited to Comment on Draft Restoration Plan for Oil Spill in Sitka, Alaska

The barge Salvation, the KP-2 deck barge, and two tugs tied up at Samson’s dock. The Alaskan Salvor located inside the containment boom around the tug Powhatan. (Photo provided by Samson Tug & Barge; June 4, 2017)
The barge Salvation, the KP-2 deck barge, and two tugs tied up at Samson’s dock. The Alaskan Salvor located inside the containment boom around the tug Powhatan. (Photo provided by Samson Tug & Barge; June 4, 2017)

Public Invited to Comment on Draft Restoration Plan for Oil Spill in Sitka, Alaska

July 1, 2019

NOAA is inviting the public to comment on a draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for projects in Sitka, Alaska. 

The plan aims to compensate the public for the Tug Powhatan oil spill, where the tugboat sank from its dock in Starrigavan Bay resulting in damages to natural resources. 

There will be a 30-day commenting period, ending on July 31, 2019. The case Trustees will be holding a public meeting at the Sitka Library on July 8, 320 Harbor Dr, Sitka, AK 99835, from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

NOAA estimated that 25.5 billion Pacific herring egg-equivalents were killed due to the spill, and approximately 444 shellfish harvesting trips were lost. NOAA identified two preferred projects to restore for impacts to fish and shellfish harvesting.

For impacts to Pacific herring, a marine debris removal project that would benefit Pacific herring is being proposed. 

For lost shellfish harvesting days, a shellfish monitoring project is proposed to sustain or expand efforts to monitor paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP). This will help bolster confidence in the safety of shellfish for human consumption, benefiting the community and compensating for lost harvesting opportunities. 

Comments regarding this plan may be submitted in writing up to July 31, 2019. 

Sarah Allan
NOAA Office of Response and Restoration
222 West 7th Ave. Suite 552
Anchorage, AK 99513
sarah.allan@noaa.gov

Comments received by the deadline will be reviewed and considered by the Trustees in preparing and releasing the Final Restoration Plan.