Friday, March 27, 2015

When Spills come to La Push

By Chase Gallagher, Southwest Region Communications Manager

Thursday our spills team responded to a sinking vessel near La Push on the Olympic Peninsula after reports of a large sheen from the boat.

Our partners at the United States Coast Guard were able to respond first, and when our spills team arrived the fishing vessel was actively leaking diesel into the harbor.

Some fuel recovered

Around 200 to 250 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled since yesterday, but the contractor hired to help cleanup was able to recover 250 gallons from the fuel tanks before entering the harbor and stop sources of residual oil.

Working with the Quileute Tribe, our team surveyed the shoreline areas and found no pockets of recoverable oil, and no injured or distressed fish or wildlife.

With the immediate pollution threat contained, the Coast Guard and Ecology's direct involvement comes to a close, but the vessel owner plans to get the boat back above the water soon.

Know What to do

Every spill of oil or fuel into the water causes damage to our environment, and it's always important to know what to do when a spill occurs.

Use our spills reporting page to call the National Response Center, Washington Emergency Management Division, and the regional office of the Department of Ecology to get all the important information to the right people.

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