Officials investigating Chukchi Sea oil sheen

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Coast Guard are investigating a mysterious oily sheen that was found on the Chukchi Sea ice pack off the northern coast of Sarichef Island, near the Inupiat village of Shishmaref, officials said Thursday.

The sheen, which has a gasoline-like odor, was first reported to DEC on Wednesday by a village public safety officer. The product spilled, volume and cause were unknown as of Thursday, DEC said.

A unified command has been set up to respond to the situation, and representatives from DEC and the Coast Guard were expected to arrive at Sarichef Island on Friday to examine the site, DEC said in a situation report issued on Thursday.

ADN Staff