On 04/24/06 at approximately 1500 hrs. EDT, an oil sheen was reported at Slim Island, located at MM 834 on the Ohio River, approximately 8 miles northeast of Uniontown, KY (NRC Report No. 794997). USCG Sector Ohio Valley (SOHV) responded and confirmed that an apparent source of crude oil was emanating from rip rap on the northeast tip of Ship Island, nearest to the Kentucky shoreline. Further investigation disclosed that a crude oil production facility on the island is operated by Robinson Engineering & Oil Co., Inc. Evansville, IN. Robinson's representative was dispatched to the island late in the evening on 04/24, and transfer pumps which were operating were shut down. The pumps transfer crude oil through a 2" line running along the bottom of the Ohio River to the KY shoreline, over a distance of approximately 3,000 ft. Upon realizing that the likely source of the spill was from an EPA-regulated facility, USCG contacted the Region 4 Duty Officer and requested EPA's assistance. The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KYDEP) Environmental Response Team (ERT) was also mobilized to respond, as the island lies within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
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On May 9, 2006, EPA OSC Smith issued a Clean Water Act 311(c) Order to Robinson Engineering in the aftermath of the April 24, 2006 crude oil spill discovered at the Slim Island production facility. The Order required the Responsible Party (RP) to:
- cease all product transfer operations
- evacuate any residual oil product from the section of the transfer line beneath the Ohio River; and
- submit a work plan for conducting an integrity test on the transfer line.
On May 12, The RP notified the EPA OSC via email that all product transfers from Slim Island were suspended as of April 24, and that the remaining oil product in the transfer line was removed on May 11. On May 20, the EPA OSC issued a verbal approval of the work plan submitted on May 12, and the RP submitted data on May 22, signifying a successful pressure test.
On May 26, the EPA OSC, KYDEP, and the USCG Sector Ohio Valley were onscene to witness resumption of crude oil transfer operations. The RP disclosed that the flex hose leaving the island was replaced with rigid steel piping, in an attempt to reduce wear and tear on the coupling. No leaks or other indications of an oil discharge were observed during the re-start procedures. All parties demobilized the scene on May 26, thus marking the completion of the response to the April 24, 2006 oil spill incident.