BETHEL - Alaska’s conservation department has joined the U.S. Coast Guard in overseeing removal of diesel fuel tanks near a rapidly eroding riverbank, officials said.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is monitoring the removal of threatened fuel tanks at a school in Napakiak, KYUK-AM reported Tuesday.
"We're going to be working hand in glove with the Coast Guard," said Bernie Nowicki, an environmental program specialists supervisor.
The Coast Guard has ordered the Lower Kuskokwim School District to move the estimated 36,000 gallons of diesel away from the Kuskokwim River.
The Coast Guard's order issued Friday says the job must be completed by Aug. 30 to prevent environmental harm.
The conservation department will determine if more action is needed to treat the site in the community 15 miles southwest of Bethel.
The supervision is unusual, but "this seems to be a special case," Nowicki said.
“It’s got the concerns from the community, concerns from the state and the Coast Guard, so we need to have a presence there,” Nowicki said.