Department of Ecology News Release - July 12, 2016
WINLOCK – The Washington Department of Ecology has directed a local company to reimburse the state $30,887 for the cost of responding to a spill that killed numerous fish, including some endangered species, after a fire destroyed a warehouse in August 2015.
Olympic Trading Corporation also has been issued a $1,000 fine for spilling oil into state waters. Runoff from the fire entered Olequa Creek, a tributary to the Cowlitz River.
Ecology and other agencies oversaw the response for more than two weeks after the fire and spill. After any oil spill response, Ecology is required by state law to follow up with enforcement, including reimbursement for state expenses.
The 1,500 square-foot warehouse was located at 803 NW Kerron Ave. and contained a variety of grocery items, including 14 pallets (1,130 gallons) of vegetable oils. Containment berms constructed soon after the fire allowed contractors to collect and remove 65,500 gallons of contaminated water and 25 cubic yards of oiled sorbents and contaminated soil.
The company and its insurance have paid more than $200,000 to contractors for the response, clean up and demolition of the burned warehouse.
“This was a devastating event for the owners of Olympic Trading Company and the Winlock community,” said Jim Sachet, spill response manager for Ecology. “Unfortunately, the runoff from the fire impacted about three-and-a-half miles of Olequa Creek.”
Investigators have not found a cause for the fire.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a separate assessment for the value of damages to the environment.
The company has 30 days to appeal the penalty and cost reimbursement.
David Bennett, Communications, 360-407-6239, @ecysw
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