780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Norton Sound Regional Hospital Continues Fuel Spill Recovery

Removing contaminated soil below the Norton Sound Regional Hospital tank area. Photo: NSRH.

Norton Sound Regional Hospital continues its fuel spill recovery.

Contracted by the hospital, Bering Straits Native Corporation is excavating the contaminated soil after a fuel tank overflow on June 20 spilled thousands of gallons of heating fuel around the hospital’s tank farm and beneath the hospital itself.

All that soil initially was going to Icy View on an undeveloped lot owned by BSNC, but residents protested the decision.

“It became problematic for the residents in that area,” summarized Tom DeRuyter, State On-Scene Coordinator for the spill with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Leading the excavation is Larry Pederson, Land and Resource Manager for BSNC in Nome. Pederson said BSNC selected the Icy View plot as a dump site after being told the fuel spill totaled 100 gallons. That number, they later learned, is 2,528 gallons, covering about 3,000 square feet.

Pederson said BSNC is now taking contaminated soil from the hospital to a containment site in Satellite Field near the Nome High School and softball field.

DEC’s DeRuyter said the contaminated soil in Icy View will join the rest of the soil in Satellite Field when BSNC completes its hospital excavation.

“In the meantime, DeRuyter said, “they did put a fence around the stockpile [in Icy View]. The stockpile is on a liner, and it has been capped off with tarps. So it should keep down any odors coming off that pile.”

Inside the hospital, DeRuyter said air monitoring continues and no fumes have been reported.