February 23, 2012
Ecology, Coast Guard, Seattle, King County and BNSF Railway responding to oil spill at Interbay rail yard
The state Department of Ecology (Ecology), U.S. Coast Guard, the Seattle Fire Department, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) are responding to an oil spill at the company’s railroad yard at Interbay in Seattle.
BNSF has hired an environmental cleanup contractor, which has begun to remove diesel fuel that is contained within drainage facilities at the rail yard. Ecology, the Coast Guard and SPU are overseeing the cleanup.
Some of the oil has entered the public sewer system, which flows to the King County West Point Treatment Plant. Plant operators are diverting oil from incoming flows for temporary storage and disposal. They also are taking precautions to ensure uninterrupted treatment of normal wastewater.
A locomotive that derailed shortly after 8 a.m. today sustained damage to a fuel tank. All fuel in the nearly full 3,000-gallon capacity tank emptied onto the ground. The incident is under investigation.
The contractor has placed oil cleanup and containment materials outside a stormwater outfall pipe in Smith Cove, south of the rail yard, as a precaution. No oil has reached surface waters.
More information about the spill will be provided as soon as it becomes available.