Heavy Oil Spill at Port Angeles. Clean up Operations in Progress.

Port Angeles, Olympia, November 7, 2012 – major fuel oil spil occurred in Port Angeles, WA early this morning. The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Spill Response Corp (MSRC), Global Diving & Salvage (Global) and private response companies are engaged in oil spil clean up operations.

Harley Marine oil spil in Port Angeles © Department of Ecology / Andrea Under

Harley Marine oil spil in Port Angeles © Department of Ecology / Andrea Under

840-gallon heavy fuel oil spil was reported at 3:20 a.m. It occurred after a fuel barge owned by Harley Marine Services was overfilled during fueling operations at the Tesoro Port Angeles Terminal in Port Angeles Harbor.

Ecology and Coast Guard responders reported that between 50 and 100 gallons of 840 spilled has reached Port Angeles Harbor. However, as oil spill containment boom had been placed around the barge before fuel transfer operations, spilled oil on the water has remained inside of it, which was confirmed after a site over flight conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard this morning. Moreover, an unknown amount of spilled fuel stayed on the deck of the Harley Marine barge.

The cause of the spill is under investigation.

Currently MSRC and Global have deployed three skimming vessels, two response vessels and several workboats to deploy more oil containment boom and absorbent materials to remove the oil from the water. Vacuum trucks and other equipment are expected to arrive soon to help these recovery efforts.

Contractors and oil recovery efforts are being paid for by Harley Marine. They are being directed under a unified command involving the Coast Guard and Ecology.

Dept. of Ecology will post updated information on this case at their website.

Under state law, Ecology requires pre-booming for large-volume oil transfers over water to provide a first line of defense should a spill occur. Before the Washington Legislature directed Ecology to change its oil transfer rules, spills during oil transfers were a significant source of pollution.

Oil is significant environmental polluter; causing damage to the environment from the moment contact with water or soil is established. Therefore, all oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of their size. A single quart of oil has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water.

For more information visit the Harley Marine IFO Spill – Port Angeles incident website: (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/incidents/HMS_PortAngeles/HMS_PortAngeles.html)

Source: WA Department of Ecology