On August 24, 1998, there was a hose failure at Tesoro's single-point mooring located offshore of Barbers Point, near Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. The mooring is a floating buoy used to transfer crude oil and refined products between ships and the refinery onshore. Bunker fuel was being piped into the "Oversea New York," a tank vessel that was also delivering crude oil to the Tesoro storage facility onshore. A sheen was reported at approximately 2000 hours. At the time, Tesoro estimated the spill at 10 barrels or 420 gallons. The United States Coast Guard (USCG), the State of Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), and Tesoro responded to the spill and mobilized cleanup efforts. After recovery of the visible oil in the general vicinity of the offshore single-point mooring, the unified Command demobilized the spill response because of the inability to find any more recoverable oil.
However, beginning on or about September 5, 1998, tarballs and dead oiled birds began to come ashore on the northeastern shore of Kauai, over 100 miles from Tesoro's single point mooring off Barbers Point. On September 11, 1998, the USCG matched, through chemical analysis, the tarballs and oiled dead birds from Kauai with the oil from the Tesoro spill on Oahu. The oil was reported to be coming ashore at Kauai's Barking Sands, Polihale, Nukoli, Fujii, and Kipu Kai beaches. Based on these additional reports and mass balance calculations, Tesoro officials estimated that up to 117 barrels of bunker oil (approximately 4,914 gallons) may have been spilled as a result of the August 24, 1998 hose failure. The USCG, Tesoro and various oil spill response contractors conducted the cleanup on Kauai.
Oiling of shoreline. intertidal and subtidal areas potentially affected a variety of natural resources, including:
• seabirds and their habitat, including some threatened and endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA);
• Hawaiian monk seals (Monachus schauinslandt)(=lIio holo i ha uaua) and their habitat, a species listed as endangered under the ESA;
• intertidal and subtidal habitat and biota in those habitats such as invertebrates, algal communities, and opihi (Gel/ana sp.), which is a commercially and culturally valuable species; and
• beaches and associated recreational and subsistence activities