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Vessel and equipment decontamination is performed during and after every oil spill event. Decontamination techniques may vary but the process is specific: careful removal of any contaminated material, containment of all debris and cleaning materials, and proper disposal.

Large vessels are cleaned at Port Hueneme. Most of these were used as support for the smaller vessels that conducted boom deployment and oil collection. Large vessel contamination was mostly staining at the waterline. Cleaning crews deploy boom and adsorbents around these vessels. Hand crews remove the stain.

For smaller vessels, the cleaning process starts with the removal of onboard waste or debris and support equipment such as skimmers and containment boom at the Port of Hueneme. Oily liquids are recycled, and equipment is taken to a cleaning station.

The smaller vessels then transit to the Ventura Harbor Boat Yard where they are removed from the water and placed into a containment area designed and built for the decontamination process.  The vessels will be cleaned of any contamination on the exterior as well as the interior of the vessel before being returned to the water, including cleaning of the hulls, decks, engine rooms, and recovered oil collection tanks as well as any incidental contamination that is found in the companionways or common areas of the vessel.

The cleaning process includes the use of high pressure water with applied heat as well as the application of approved cleaning agents to scrubbers, scrapers and rags to implement hand detail. All of these processes are followed by a high pressure low volume fresh water rinse to ensure no residual contamination remains.

All waste and rinse solutions are collected and segregated to be quantified. The disposal of this material is then processed according to the Unified Command approved waste, recycling and disposal plan.

For more information contact:

Joint Information Center
(805) 770-3682