Department of Ecology News Release - June 17, 2024

Settlement reached in penalty for Lake Washington Ship Canal fuel spill

The Coastal Navigator on February 3, 2023.


The Washington Department of Ecology reached a settlement agreement with Coastal Transportation Inc. (Coastal) over a February 2023 spill of diesel into Seattle’s Lake Washington Ship Canal that occurred during a fuel transfer. 

The original penalty was for $22,000, but Ecology and Coastal agreed to a reduced $12,000 penalty, while suspending the remaining $10,000 for a five-year period. Ecology will waive that remaining amount if Coastal does not violate state oil spill regulations during the five-year period. The terms would exclude spills of less than 25 gallons from constituting a violation, which would trigger Coastal’s obligation to pay the $10,000. 

Since this spill, Coastal has implemented several procedures to prevent a similar accident from happening again. This includes updating their oil transfer procedures and pre-fueling checklist, ensuring required documentation is completed prior to fueling, and improving their record keeping.

The original penalty was for spilling oil into waters of the state. Wildlife can be adversely affected if they, or their habitat, comes into contact with even a small amount of spilled oil.  

Contact information

Jasmin Adams
Ecology Communications