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September 15, 2013

Honolulu Harbor Molasses Spill: Coast Guard Assist

State officials in Hawaii consider there's little they can do to clean up a 223,000-gallon molasses spill that has killed thousands of fish, as swimmers, surfers and snorkelers were being warned that the massive die-off could attract sharks. A cracked pipe on a loading jetty caused the spill, according to NPR.

The request for federal assistance allows the Coast Guard to support the lead agency with a wide variety of resources to include specialized response personnel, boats and equipment from the Coast Guard and other Federal Agencies.

The captain of the port requested support from the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force for water sampling and monitoring and is currently coordinating with technical specialists from the EPA to help assess additional response mitigation strategies.

Meanwhile, according to NPR, authorities conceded that there was little they could do to clean up the brown plume that had essentially suffocated thousands of fish in the harbor west of downtown Honolulu.

The Hawaii Department of Health remains the lead agency for the response. Other agencies involved include the Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbor Police, Hawaii Health Department Clean Water Branch, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, Clean Islands Council and the Hawaii Wildlife Center.

Sources: USCG/NPR

Environmental Protection AgencyHawaiiDepartment of Health
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