Department of Ecology News Release - November 8, 2012

12-372

Port Angeles spill update: Most oil removed from water, focus now on cleaning up fuel barge, dock and pilings

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and U.S. Coast Guard continue to oversee oil spill cleanup operations today at Tesoro Port Angeles Terminal in Port Angeles.

The spill occurred early Wednesday morning (Nov. 7) when a Harley Marine Services fuel barge was overfilled during fueling operations at the fueling terminal in Port Angeles Harbor.

Approximately 50 to 100 gallons of heavy fuel oil that reached the water was successfully captured inside containment boom that had been placed around the barge before the fuel transfer began. An unknown amount of spilled fuel stayed on the deck of the Harley Marine barge.

Ecology requires pre-booming for large-volume oil transfers over water to provide a first line of defense should a spill occur.

By day’s end Wednesday, cleanup contractors Global Diving & Salvage (Global) and Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC) had cleaned up nearly all of the spilled oil from the water using absorbent materials.

Today, crews are cleaning the heavy oil from the side of the barge, Tesoro’s fuel dock and the pilings underneath. The containment boom will remain in place during the operations.

No oiled mammals, birds, fish or other wildlife have been observed. The cause of the spill remains under investigation.

Updated information will be posted on Ecology webpage.

All oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size. Oil is toxic to the environment and the damage starts as soon as the oil hits water. A single quart of oil has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water.

###

Media Contact: Curt Hart, 360-407-6990; cell, 360-480-7908 (curt.hart@ecy.wa.gov)

More information: