U.S. Oil diesel spill

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)

During a fuel transfer, a U.S. Oil employee detected a leak on a partially open bleeder valve. An undetermined amount of diesel fuel spilled from the shore side into the Blair Waterway.

Summary information

Date of incident: November 30, 2010 -
Location:

US Oil Refinery, Blair Waterway, Tacoma, WA

(map)
Type of incident: Diesel oil, less than 25 gallons to water (estimate)
Cause of incident: Under investigation
Responsible party: U.S. Oil
Oil containment boom deployed after a diesel fuel spill into the Blair Waterway.

Oil containment boom deployed after a diesel fuel spill into the Blair Waterway.

Status updates

November 30, 2010

Ecology, Coast Guard and U.S. Oil responding to diesel fuel spill to Tacoma’s Blair Waterway

TACOMA – The state Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Oil & Refining Co. are responding to a diesel fuel spill to the Blair Waterway in Tacoma.

During a fuel transfer, a U.S. Oil employee detected a leak on a partially open bleeder valve. Company personnel quickly shut the valve and immediately stopped the transfer.

An undetermined amount of diesel fuel spilled from the shore side into the Blair Waterway. Oil containment boom located at the dock was immediately deployed.

Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC) personnel and several other spill response contractors have been mobilized to aid in recovery efforts, avoid personal injury and property damage, and to help minimize damage to the environment.

An investigation is under way to determine the exact cause of the spill and the amount of diesel fuel spilled. No injuries have been reported.

More information about the spill will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Observations on the waterway show that less than 25 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from the shore side into the Blair Waterway.

The Blair Waterway remains open but vessel traffic should avoid wakes and stay away from the cleanup area as much as possible.

The investigation continues to determine the exact cause of the spill and amount of diesel fuel spilled.

Earlier this afternoon, Ecology and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife conducted an over flight of the spill site. 

State staff involved in the aerial observation also concluded that less than 25 gallons of diesel fuel likely spilled from the shore side into the Blair Waterway.

Fuel that did reach water was contained inside the containment and sorbent boom U.S. Oil had deployed.

The partially-opened bleeder valve where the spill occurred is located about 20-30 feet from the water.  An unknown amount of diesel fuel did spill to the ground. The company is currently removing contaminated soil by vacuum truck.

On-water cleanup operations, however, have essentially concluded.

U.S. Oil is pulling back its containment and sorbent boom from the Blair Waterway.

The company will leave sorbent boom along the shoreline near the spill site to capture any residual fuel.

Ecology will return to the site tomorrow morning.

The investigation continues to determine the exact cause of the spill and amount of diesel fuel spilled.

News releases

Media contact

Curt Hart, Media contact, curt.hart@ecy.wa.gov, 360-480-7908, @

Lt. Jon Lane
U.S. Coast Guard media relations
206-217-6254

Marcia Nielsen, U.S. Oil & Refining Co. media relations, Office: 253-680-3241
cell:  253-377-2750
men@usor.com