Washington State Department of Ecology - July 8, 2013

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Partially sunken boat leaks fuel and oil into Snohomish River

EVERETT – The Washington Department of Ecology is preparing to remove fuel and other hazardous materials from a partially submerged boat on the Snohomish River in Everett.

The Everett Parks Department, joined later by Ecology, responded to reports of a vessel aground and leaking fuel late this morning, between Langus Park and Dagmar’s Marina. Police attached a rope to the 28-foot wooden recreational vessel prior to Ecology’s arrival. The boat has since refloated on a rising tide, but remains tethered to the river’s eastern bank with its stern under water.

Ecology has hired an environmental response contractor to assess the boat for possible removal of fuel, engine oil and other hazardous material. The vessel has been releasing an undetermined amount of oil, gasoline and other materials, which form a sheen – a thin coating – on the water. Ecology has not placed boom around the vessel to contain the slick because of the fire danger involving gasoline.

Ecology is using a state oil spill contingency fund because officials cannot determine the vessel’s owner, the party normally responsible for cleanup costs. The amount of fuel, oil and other materials on the boat remains unknown.

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.

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Media Contact:

Larry Altose Kent, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Ecology Spills Program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html)

Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)