(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)
Thursday, 4/11/13 2:46 PM
Ecology invites the public to comment on the Emergency Enforcement Order for the Helena Star and the Golden West. The Enforcement Order was issued on April 1, 2013.
The order requires the Potentially Responsible Persons to:
If the PLPs do not file or carry out an acceptable work plan, Ecology can
hire contractors to do the work and charge the PLPs.
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has issued an emergency enforcement order (order) requiring those responsible for the Helena Star to remove the vessel from Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma’s Commencement Bay. The 167-foot steel hull vessel is spilling oil and posing a risk of releasing other contamination into the waterway.
Friday, 2/8/13 8:30 am
Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and Ballard Diving and Salvage continue to monitor the derelict vessels Helena Star and Golden West moored at Mason Marine near Tacoma in the Hylebos Waterway. This week Ballard Diving is working to pick up woody debris that may interfere with oil containment boom placed around the vessels to prevent possible pollution from any residual fuel remaining in the vessels. The contractor also is changing out sorbents that soak up any oil releases and resetting the yellow boom used to contain any oil releases. Responders are still reporting sheen around the boats due to small discharges of oil. Most of the fuel was removed from the vessels in March 2012 to limit the potential for pollution.
Two new lines are tied to the Golden West, which remains afloat, to secure it. The Helena Star began sinking Jan. 25. The Golden West, which was tied to the Helena Star, was dragged over to an extreme angle but has not sunk.
Responders continue to monitor the vessels on a daily basis.
Monday, 1/28/13 4:30 pm
Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and Ballard Diving and Salvage continued working over the weekend to contain a small but continuous amount of oil released to the Hylebos Waterway after two derelict vessels moored at Mason Marine near Tacoma began sinking on Friday. Double containment boom remains around the vessels to capture releases of oil. Ecology, Coast Guard, and Department of Natural Resources are exploring options for next steps.
Friday, 1/25/13 3:50 pm
Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard are working with Ballard Diving and Salvage to contain a small amount of oil released to the Hylebos Waterway after two vessels moored at Mason Marine near Tacoma began sinking early Friday.
The derelict vessels Helena Star and Golden West were tied together when the Helena Star began sinking and pulling the other vessel down with it. The Tacoma Fire Department placed oil containment boom around both vessels to prevent possible pollution from any residual fuel remaining inside the vessels.
In March 2012, about 20,000 gallons of oil and oily water as well as other hazardous substances were removed from the vessels, limiting the potential for pollution to the waterway.
Ballard Diving and Salvage, an environmental cleanup contractor, is placing secondary boom around the vessels and working to clean up some pockets of diesel fuel in the waterway. Most of the cleanup is expected to be completed today, with continued monitoring by Ecology and the Coast Guard over the next couple of days. There are no plans to untie the vessels or raise them at this time.
The vessels have been moored at the marina for about two years. The suspected owner of the vessels, Mason Marine, filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and was not at the scene. According to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the two vessels are among an estimated 230 known derelict or abandoned vessels in Washington state.
The state is also investigating a report of four or five birds that may have gotten into oil. More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
Friday, 1/25/13 11:50 am
Multiple agencies responding to sinking of vessels in Hylebos Waterway
The Tacoma Fire Department, U.S. Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology are responding to the sinking of two vessels moored at Mason Marina on the Hylebos Waterway near Tacoma early Friday.
The abandoned fishing vessels, Helena Star and Golden West, were chained together when they sank Friday morning. Oil containment boom has been placed around both vessels to prevent possible pollution from any residual fuel that may remain inside.
Most of the fuel was removed from the vessels last March, limiting the potential for pollution to the waterway from these vessels.
The State is investigating a report of 4 or 5 birds that may have gotten into oil.
More information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
Date of Incident:
Responsible Party: Unknown
U.S. Coast Guard
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