Officials investigate oily sheen off Shishmaref

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

Responders are working to clean up an oily sheen discovered off the coast of the village of Shishmaref.

Reports say the source of the substance that was discovered last week remains unknown.

Responders with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation say the sheen appears to be some kind of weathered petroleum product, such as diesel fuel or gasoline.

The sheen covers an estimated 1,200-square-foot area of ice near shore.

The Coast Guard says the ice is hindering cleanup efforts because responders cannot go more than 5 feet offshore to absorb the substance with boom. The DEC says the ice, however, is melting quickly.

Samples of the substance are being sent to the Coast Guard marine safety lab in Connecticut to compare with petroleum samples from the Shishmaref tank farm.

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