A barge company that spilled fuel into the Salish Sea has been fined $38,500, the Washington State Department of Ecology announced Wednesday.
The barge, carrying 1.55 million gallons of high-sulfur fuel oil, marine gas oil and ultralow sulfur diesel, spilled an unknown amount of fuel due to open hatches during high-seas transport, according to a news release from Ecology.
The barge, operated by Olympic Tug & Barge, Inc., a subsidiary of Centerline Logistics, was being transported from the Parkland Refinery in Vancouver, B.C., to Commencement Bay in Tacoma, Feb. 7, 2021. When it arrived in Commencement Bay, tug crews noticed fuel had “splashed out” of the tanks and was in the water.
The company was fined for spilling oil in water and negligence as it had either failed to close the two of the hatches before departure or was unaware the hatches had opened during transport, the news release said.
There are no reported signs of damage to the natural environment in the Salish Sea, and 267 gallons of oil were recovered from the vessel’s deck.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.