Department of Ecology News Release - November 11, 2014

Oil leak found in Skagit County pipeline
Crews responding and have contained spill

(MOUNT VERNON) - The state Department of Ecology and personnel from the Olympic Pipeline Co. are responding to an oil spill at a pipeline pump station near Mount Vernon.

Olympic Pipeline Company first reported the oil to Ecology October 29 after discovering a sheen on water in an excavation pit. The pipeline was closed Oct. 29 to investigate the sheen. State and pipeline personnel responders have been monitoring the site to determine the source, type, and location of the oil and to plan cleanup strategies.

Last night when Olympic Pipeline crews performed a test under flowing conditions on the 20-inch pipeline, they found a leak in a ½-inch connection of piping associated with a mainline pump discharge valve. Since this investigation began crews recovered 60 gallons of transmix (a mixture of diesel, jet fuel and gasoline).

Earlier yesterday investigators believed the oil was not from a pipeline or valve leak, but was part of historical contamination from spills dating back to 1988.

Currently the leak is secure and the 20-inch pipeline is shut down. Olympic’s 16-inch pipeline is in service. Crews plan to make repairs on the valve and get the pipeline back in operation. Meanwhile, response crews will continue to work with state officials to remediate any remaining traces of hydrocarbons in the soil at the site.

All oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size. Spills to soil create the potential for the chemicals that do not evaporate or get absorbed into the ground to be washed into waterways and groundwater.

Updates and pictures will be provided on Twitter from @ecologyWA as additional information becomes available.

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Contacts:

Lisa Copeland, communications, 360-515-6868, @ecologyWA

BP Press Office, 281-366-4463