Bulker Releases Oil near Kalama, Cleanup Underway

US Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology personnel are overseeing pollution cleanup after sheening was reported around the 2011-built bulk carrier Nord Auckland anchored near Kalama, Washington.

Reportedly, the 610-foot Singapore-flagged vessel, owned by Norden Shipping, released bunker oil due to operator error that was intended to be burned in the incinerator.

Oil spill response organization Clean Rivers Cooperative was hired to undertake the operation using two booming vessels with crews engaged in cleanup.

The Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received reports of sheening in the water in the morning hours of February 18 and pollution response experts soon arrived on the scene.

An overflight surveillance revealed a number of sheening trails, while some oil was observed near shorelines and near wildlife concentrations.

The incident, as well as the extent of environmental impacts, will be under investigation.

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