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Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy

In late October 2012, Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy's extreme weather conditions spread oil, hazardous materials, and debris across waterways and industrial port areas along the Mid Atlantic.

As water levels receded, the U.S. Coast Guard began receiving reports of pollution incidents in the areas of coastal New Jersey and New York. There, Scientific Support Coordinators (SSCs) from OR&R's Emergency Response Division (ERD) worked with the U.S. Coast Guard to assess and reduce the impacts of hazardous material pollution, particularly in the area of Arthur Kill, a waterway that borders New York and New Jersey. A total of 10,000 gallons of biodiesel and 277,200 gallons of low sulfur diesel were discharged into the Arthur Kill waterway as a result of storm damage at two separate facilities lining the waterway. 

The SSCs served as aerial observers on Coast Guard helicopters to survey oil on the water surface, and visited hurricane-affected sites and facilities to determine the extent of oiling and to offer scientific counsel on spill containment and cleanup. To assist the on-scene response, ERD modelers forecasted the movement and behavior of spilled oil in the Arthur Kill area, providing to the Unified Command scientific guidance about the most sensitive habitats and organisms in the area, considerations for reducing environmental impacts during cleanup and response operations, and information on the types of oils released and their possible impacts on natural resources.

Response efforts in the Arthur Kill waterway lasted until June of 2013.

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