The Washington Department of Ecology is penalizing Terry Peterson $25,000 for a Jan. 5, 2021, diesel spill from his grounded vessel near the seawall of Silverdale Waterfront Park.
In December 2020, Peterson moored his 38-foot vessel, the JoJo, at the Port of Silverdale Marina in Dyes Inlet, in Silverdale. On Jan. 1, 2021, he moved the vessel 150 feet off the marina’s dock onto subtidal lands managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Peterson moved the vessel a second time after strong winds caused it to drag anchor and become grounded at low tide.
On Jan. 5, forecasted strong winds caused the JoJo to drag its anchor again before it ran aground, spilling approximately 71 gallons of diesel. The diesel likely escaped the fuel tanks via tank vents. The diesel that didn’t evaporate accumulated in the small bay.
Peterson used a 20 – 30 pound mushroom anchor to secure the JoJo, which was not suitable for a boat of its size. Peterson was aware of the risk for the boat to drag anchor and ground.
The penalty is for spilling oil into waters of the state, failing to effectively secure the vessel, failing to notifying Ecology of the spill, and failing to collect and remove the spilled fuel.
Although no impacts to wildlife or habitat were documented, the greater northern Dyes Inlet area contains numerous species of birds, mammals, and fish and sensitive habitat for federally-listed species. Wildlife can be adversely affected if they, or their habitat, comes into contact with even a small amount of spilled oil.
Peterson has 30 days to appeal the penalty to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board.