Department of Ecology News Release - June 28, 2019

Coleman Oil settles fine for oil spill to Columbia River in Wenatchee

Biodiesel flowed in groundwater to the river

The spill created a visible sheen off and on in the river after it was discovered March 17, 2017.

OLYMPIA – Lewiston, Idaho-based Coleman Oil has agreed to settle a $189,000 fine for spilling approximately 3,840 gallons of biodiesel into the Columbia River from its Wenatchee bulk oil plant in 2017.

Under the terms of the settlement with the Washington Department of Ecology, the penalty will be reduced to $170,000, if the company makes a cash payment of $65,000 to be used for habitat restoration efforts. To satisfy the remaining $105,000, Coleman Oil, within two years, must complete facility upgrades at its operations in Pateros and Dayton and implement all-staff training. The company must also incur no spills of 25 gallons or more for five years.

An investigation found the fuel had leaked for three months from a corroded underground pipe to soil and groundwater and then seeped into the Columbia River. Since that time, the company has stopped the spill, removed the contamination, and decommissioned the facility. There were no observable impacts to wildlife from the spill.

The facility upgrades include adding leak-detection equipment and upgrading to double-walled line systems. The training must cover job duties at their 18 facilities required by U.S. Environmental Protection spill prevention plans and information about the Clean Water Act. 

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Ty Keltner
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Twitter: ecologywa