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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 4:04 p.m., Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Coast Guard reports oil spill in Kahului Harbor

Advertiser Staff

Some 100 to 300 gallons of oil leaked from an abandoned, Maui Electric Co. oil pipeline below Kahului Harbor, the company said.

The leak of heavy industrial No. 6 fuel oil was released into the area around Pier 1 and was contained at 2 a.m., company spokeswoman Kau'i Awai-Dickson said in a statement.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the oil seeped from a "pinhole" leak.

"The pipeline was abandoned in 1985 and had deteriorated," said Petty Officer Angela Henderson. "There was a pinhole leak that was very small."

Clean-up crews deployed about 1,000 feet of boom around Pier 1 to contain the leak, Awai-Dickson said.

The spill was reported at 7:30 p.m. by harbor security, Henderson said.

"It is affecting harbor operations," she said. "The harbor master will not allow vessels in until it's deemed safe."

Henderson said ships and boats inside the harbor also are not being let out.

Clean-up crews hope to have the oil removed later today, she said.