Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hydrocarbon Spill Prompts Charges Against PWSAC

The general manager of the Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp., a hatchery manager and maintenance supervisor have been ordered to show up for arraignment in Cordova, Alaska, regarding a fuel leak at a state hatchery managed by PWSAC.

Documents filed the state attorney general’s office this week charge general manager David Reggiani Jr., chief maintenance supervisor Dale Lords, and Christine Mitchell, acting manager of the Cannery Creek Hatchery, with a class A misdemeanor in the oil spill beneath staff housing back in December 2013. All are charged with proving false information, failure to report hazardous substance discharge and oil pollution.

Based on a review by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the state found that Jason Vinyard, then a maintenance supervisor at the hatchery, did report a fuel oil spill of 350 to 400 gallons to the US Forest Service in December 2013, that he also reported the incident to PWSAC officials and told on-site employees to leave the area.

Mitchell told officials that Vinyard had reported a fuel spill but that she had discounted his reporting because she did not trust him. A review of a fuel log provided by Reggiani disclosed fuel transfers from a bulk storage tank were consistent with statements made by Vinyard in his incident report, according to assistant attorney general Carole Holley.

A telephone request to PWSAC regarding the incident was not returned.

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