Company Fined for Spilling in Port Angeles Harbor

Thursday, November 06, 2003
The Department of Ecology (Ecology) has fined owners of the Gaz Diamond propane tanker $75,500 for spilling oil into the Port Angeles harbor in May 2002. The Gaz Diamond is owned by the Naftomar Shipping and Trading Company Ltd., based in Greece. The ship spilled 1,188 gallons of fuel oil when its tanks overfilled while refueling. The oil washed up on nearby beaches and docks along the southern shore of the Ediz Hook peninsula near the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station. Cleanup efforts lasted five days and involved oil skimming vessels, thousands of feet of oil containment boom and hundreds of oil snares staked along the shore. Oil collected in nearby commercial fish pens, on docks, log booms, private boats, the public boat launch, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, and the Puget Sound Pilot Station. Three recreational divers and two dogs also were reported to be covered in oil. The most heavily affected natural resources were in the inter-tidal zone along the beaches, including eel-grass beds, which are an essential habitat for a variety of marine species. “The truly unfortunate aspect of this spill was that it didn’t have to happen,” said Dale Jensen, spills manager for Ecology. “Ships and boats are refueled in Washington waters every day, and people need to take the necessary precautions to avoid spills.” In February 2003, Ecology also assessed Naftomar $41,000 to compensate for the damage caused to the environment. That assessment has been paid. Naftomar may file an application of relief from the penalty within 15 days and may file an appeal with the state Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.

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