Alaska sends oil spill clean-up equipment, advice to gulf

May 12, 2010 

Cargo planes from Elmendorf Air Force base are flying equipment to New Orleans to help with oil spill cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, the state is offering advice to Gulf states based on experience with the Exxon Valdez.

The equipment, booms and skimmer boats flying out from Elmendorf come from the U.S. Navy and BP, the oil company that leased the exploded drilling rig and owns the well gushing crude oil.

So far, three C-17s from the 517th and 249th Airlift Squadrons have transported 211,000 pounds of equipment to Louisiana. The effort began Monday night and three more flights are scheduled. Elmendorf expects almost 500,000 pounds of equipment to be delivered as part of the operation.

"It's our way of helping out," said Master Sgt. Jason Bradford, Elmendorf aircraft services superintendent.

Sharon Leighow, spokeswoman for Gov. Sean Parnell, said the state has identified more than a dozen environmental conservation specialists who "are ready and willing to travel to the Gulf" if needed. She said the state is also offering advice on potential legal issues. She said the Department of Environmental Conservation's food, sanitation and safety experts have also provided information to Louisiana and Florida on practices for detecting petroleum contamination in seafood.

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