The initial investigation onboard MOL’s Istra Ace car carrier revealed faulty piping that may have allowed oil to leak from the starboard side of the ship, the US Coast Guard said in an update.
The finding comes after an unknown quantity of oil was reported on Sunday to be coming from the Bahamas-flagged car carrier in the Cerritos channel near berth 212 and across the east basin to berth 192, in the Port of Los Angeles.
A Coast Guard helicopter overflight and shoreline clean-up assessments occurred at first light Monday to help determine the extent of the oil spilled, the update said.
The responsible party is reported to had contracted with the National Response Corporation Environmental Services and other sub-contractors to assist in efforts to contain and clean the oil. Currently, 15,600 feet of boom have been deployed around the vessel as well as at critical points in the channel. The boom has contained the oil within the affected area preventing further contamination of the harbor.
“Contractors are continuing to clean with sweepers and sorbent pads in the affected area and also any affected shoreline, as well as deploy resources for removal of contamination from vessels, docks, pilings and other structures,” the USCG said.
“At this time, there have been no confirmed reports of oiled wildlife.”
The Coast Guard issued a safety zone restricting recreational and commercial vessel traffic in the affected area to ensure unimpeded clean-up operations and avoid any possible contamination.
Due to response efforts, the operations of the Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge have been temporarily suspended, restricting vessel traffic from transiting underneath the bridge. However, automobile traffic is not affected.