A Coast Guard official said this afternoon that a tanker is scheduled Saturday to begin taking 6.3 million gallons of crude oil from storage tanks that could be affected by the continuing eruption of the Mount Redoubt volcano.
Once the Seabulk Arctic finishes taking on the oil over two days, about 840,000 gallons of crude will be left in each of two active tanks at Drift River, a facility built 42 years ago downriver from Redoubt Volcano, officials said at a news conference.
Capt. Mark Hamilton, the federal on-scene coordinator for the region and one of three representatives in the unified command dealing with the oil-spill threat from Drift River, said the transfer will take place only if it can be done safely.
Officials have been concerned about the oil storage tanks since Mount Redoubt began erupting last month. A mudslide triggered by one of the eruptions rushed toward Drift River, but was held off by a a dike built in 1990 after a previous eruption.
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