ConocoPhillips spill at Ferndale

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)  


Wednesday, 11/3/10 3:30 pm 

Ferndale refinery failed to properly report spill

Ecology issues order to update, improve spill response plan

ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery failed to properly report a diesel fuel spill to the Washington Department of Ecology on Wednesday, Oct. 27, according to the refinery’s oil spill readiness or “contingency” plan.

The refinery quickly responded to the spill but did not report it to Ecology’s regional office in Bellevue, causing a delay of several hours in Ecology’s response.

To prevent delays in responding to future spills, Ecology has issued an administrative order to ConocoPhillips, requiring the refinery to:

  • Analyze how the lapse in properly reporting the incident to the state occurred.
  • Review the incident to see where improvements to response and preparedness could be made.
  • Review the contingency plan to see if it requires revisions or updates.
  • Retrain staff.
  • Participate in a future spill readiness drill, which could be unannounced.

Ecology continues to investigate the spill.

An estimated 10,500 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from an underground pipeline, ran through ditches and into a stormwater retention pond on refinery property.

The pond is not part of the refinery’s treated industrial wastewater system. It collects stormwater runoff from roadways and undeveloped wooded areas and drains to the Strait of Georgia.

No diesel spilled into marine waters.


Thursday, 10/28/10 5:00 pm 

The state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard have wrapped up their response to a diesel fuel leak from an underground pipeline at the ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery.

Ecology will continue investigating the cause of the leak, determining the actual volume of fuel spilled, and monitoring ConocoPhillips’ cleanup.

Diesel fuel leaked from a six-inch underground diesel pipeline that runs from an above-ground tank to a truck-loading area. Initial estimates are that 10,500 gallons of diesel leaked from the pipe, ran through ditches and into a stormwater retention pond on refinery property.

No diesel spilled into marine waters.

The pond is not part of the refinery’s treated industrial wastewater system. It collects stormwater runoff from roadways and undeveloped wooded areas and drains to the Strait of Georgia. Pipes leading out of the pond were plugged, and responders used absorbent materials to prevent any diesel from escaping the pond. Responders were able to collect diesel from the surface of the pond. Crews are standing by with pumps and vacuum systems to make sure the pond doesn’t overflow if it rains.

As a prevention measure, protective boom was deployed just offshore west of the refinery.

ConocoPhillips stopped the flow to the pipeline Wednesday and used vacuum trucks and skimmers to remove diesel fuel from the retention pond. Vacuum trucks recovered an estimated 4,000 gallons of diesel.

ConocoPhillips personnel will continue excavating the pipe in the area of the leak and replacing the damaged section of pipe. They also will remove contaminated soil.  Cleanup is expected to continue for up to a week.


Thursday, 10/28/10 9:45 am 

The state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard are responding to a diesel fuel leak from an underground pipeline at the ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery.

State and federal authorities have responders and investigators at the site. It appears the leak was from a two-inch underground diesel pipeline that runs from an aboveground tank to a truck loading facility.  Diesel from the leak was captured in the refinery’s internal stormwater system, including an on-site stormwater retention pond.

ConocoPhillips has stopped the flow in the pipeline and is using vacuum trucks and skimmers to remove diesel fuel from the soil and retention pond. No diesel fuel got into water outside of the retention pond. Vacuum trucks have recovered an estimated 6,000 gallons of diesel and water.

ConocoPhillips response personnel will continue working through the night to excavate the pipeline and remove the contaminated soil.  As a prevention measure, protective boom has been deployed just offshore west of the refinery.

  Photos by Carl Andersen


ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery


Looking for source of leak.


Skimming pond.


Weir and skimmer.


Google Earth showing location of spill.

SUMMARY INFORMATION

Date of Incident:
October 27, 2010

Location:
ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery retention pond.

Product/Quantity: An estimated 10,500 gallons of diesel fuel leaked.

Cause:
Under Investigation.

Responsible Party: ConocoPhillips Ferndale Refinery


CONTACT:

Katie J. Skipper, media relations
Washington Department of Ecology
360-715-5205 desk
360-510-0682 cell
Katie. skipper@ecy.wa.gov

Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, Ecology Spills Preparedness Section Manager
360-407-7447
linda.pilkey-jarvis@ecy.wa.gov

U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Puget Sound – 206-217-6002

Jeff Callender, ConocoPhillips public affairs and communications, 360-384-8550, jeff.callender@conocophillips.com