Oil Spill Response in Seattle's Salmon Bay

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Seattle's Salmon Bay

 

The U.S. Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology continue to oversee the cleanup and investigate the cause of an oil spill that appeared earlier this week in the Ballard Mill Marina, on Salmon Bay, along the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

The Coast Guard and Ecology received reports Monday morning of oil, accompanied by strong petroleum odors in the waters. No one has come forward to take responsibility for the spill, and the Coast Guard has utilized the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to hire Global Diving and Salvage to conduct the cleanup.

The Coast Guard and Ecology have established a unified command to plan and oversee cleanup work. Contracted employees have been using oil spill containment boom and cleanup materials and equipment to remove oil from the surface of the water and from structures and vessels. The oil is concentrated in the area between the Sagstad and Ballard Mill marinas on the north shore of Salmon Bay.

“At the current time we do not have a source for the spill,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Berlin, a marine science technician at Sector Puget Sound. “The Coast Guard is working diligently to collect oil samples from vessels within the vicinity of the spill to help identify the source.”

Coast Guard investigation teams have been on-scene since Monday morning, attempting to locate the source of the spill and responsible party. Ecology is assisting in the investigation. The spill contains marine diesel, engine lubrication and hydraulic oil.

The Coast Guard encourages anyone with any information that may help in the investigation to contact the Sector Puget Sound Command Center at 206-217-6001. Tips may be left anonymously, upon request.

Estimated costs of the cleanup effort are approximately $75,000 to date, being financed by the federal trust fund.
No reports of affected wildlife have been received, and officials will continue to monitor the area.

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