Friday, June 3, 2011

Ecology, Coast Guard respond to Liberty Bay diesel sheen

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager

Ecology and the U.S. Coast Guard responded today (Friday, June 3) to a leaking fishing vessel moored at the Poulsbo Marina on Liberty Bay.

Ecology was notified of the incident at about 8:30 a.m. today. Port of Poulsbo staff already had placed boom – a floating barrier to stop the spread of oil – and oil cleanup materials around the Eric J, a fishing vessel with a leaking fuel tank. The Poulsbo fire department assisted in deploying the boom.

By 7 p.m., at least 70 gallons of diesel fuel had been recovered from the water. It’s unclear how much fuel had leaked into Liberty Bay.

At this time, the vessel’s owner continues to pump fuel from the tank. Fuel is no longer leaking from the vessel into the water. Responders believe the Eric J has at least 2,000 gallons of fuel on board.

Coast Guard pollution investigators remain on the scene to monitor the cleanup and fuel recovery effort.

The owner reportedly has hired a tug company to tow the Eric J to Port Townsend next week.

The boom and cleanup materials came from an Ecology spill-response equipment trailer, one of several placed at ports and harbors around the state to speed responses to oil spills.

Washington’s natural resources are always put at risk whenever oil is spilled or hazardous materials are released to the environment. All oil spills matter, regardless of size. The damage starts as soon as oil hits the water. Oil products are poisonous to the environment and they add to the toxic load to our water bodies. Spills also are difficult and costly to clean up. That’s why Ecology works to prevent spills from occurring in the first place.

Ecology has established a webpage for this incident.

For more information, check out Ecology’s Spills Program.

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