Aniak trying to contain fuel spill

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The City of Aniak, Alaska is working to manage a Feb. 16 fuel spill that has drenched one property and crossed a main roadway, Boundary Ave., not far from the Kuskokwim River.

Aniak, population about 500, is 170 miles upriver from Kwigillingok, which has a major diesel fuel spill of over 8,000 gallons that the Kwig community is trying to keep from reaching the Kuskokwim River.

The spill in Aniak seems to have originated from property referred to as the “Moffitt property,” by the City of Aniak. Doug Moffitt is a contractor in Aniak with heavy equipment operations.

City officials blocked off Boundary Ave. to prevent vehicles from driving over the spill and spreading the fuel. The amount of spilled fuel has not been estimated, but City Manager Lenore Kameroff told KYUK radio that more than 150 gallons had been recovered from the spill with absorbent materials. It’s unclear if some of that recovered liquid was associated snow or water. The City of Aniak and tribal organizations, along with community members, are working to contain the fuel, which will not be able to be fully cleaned up until spring, the city said.

A Facebook photo posted by the City of Aniak shows the area of Boundary Ave. that has been blocked off with traffic cones and surrounded by snow berms that were pushed into place to help contain the fuel. The area is several hundred square feet — or more. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has been advised of the situation.

Such spills in urban Alaska are easier to contain, but in rural areas of the north, the equipment is not always adequate and weather is a factor.

The Kuskokwim River, still frozen at this time of year, originates on the western slope of the Alaska Range and drains into the Bering Sea through the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The river is of significant concern to Alaskans due to low salmon returns for many years. The 2023 Kuskokwim season-end salmon report from Alaska Department of Fish and Game can be seen at this link.

The weather in Aniak this week is in the 20s but expected to reach 30 degrees on Thursday and Friday before dropping back down into the teens and below over the weekend.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Where is the fed sand lawyers?
    How come the news doesn’t report this as if a big bad oil company would have been involved?

  2. We had Kwigillingok, then Aniak. Will Bethel be next, or somewhere else inbetween – OR will the next “accident” be even further upriver, like maybe Crooked Creek or Red Devil? What a great way to convince the natives that storing fuel is just too dangerous and they need to get on board with green energy like wind, solar or nuclear power. Evil sweeps over the Alaskan Tundra.

  3. And to think Ginny more oil / fuel and antifreeze is dripping on the ground at your local wal mart parking lot in one year than any of these villages spill in 29 years. Get a grip, let’s see what it takes to build and install green energy????? First the materials have to be located, core drilling, oil exploration, then it has to be mined, or pumped, then it has to be shipped to manufacturing, then it has to be manufactured, then shipped to contractors who then ship it to final Destination who then fly or boat or truck to final destination and install it. Everything (green) is mined or petroleum based products, right down to your roll of electrical tape. O ya then in 20 or 30 years when it’s worn out it has to be recycled which requires the reverse of what I wrote above. The only thing green here is the green leaving your bill fold to subsidize someone else’s power.

    • Doug, I am sorry that I did not indicate that I was being sarcastic. In no way am I promoting “green energy” that Dunleavy and McCabe are pushing for. I just think that there are going to be more and more of these “accidents” to convince people that we need to go in the other direction – you know…like mass shootings and trying to take away our guns.

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