'All recoverable oil' cleaned up in Puget Sound after spill near Anacortes

Cleanup efforts have removed all recoverable crude oil that spilled into Washington’s Puget Sound Friday night during a transfer of oil from a docked barge to a Shell refinery.

An estimated 19 litres spilled around 11:30 p.m. in Fidalgo Bay, near Anacortes on the Washington coast east of Victoria, during the transfer of about 20,000 litres of oil from a barge operated by Crowley Maritime Corp. to the Shell refinery.

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About 75 litres spilled on to the deck of the barge, with about 19 reaching Puget Sound, part of the Salish Sea.

There has been no reported impact on wildlife and fisheries in the area were not closed.

Crews from the Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard, the Lummi Nation and the Washington State Maritime Co-operative — acting as incident commander for Crowley Maritime, the responsible party — worked together to recover the spilled oil and minimize further environmental impacts. Shell was on scene supporting recovery efforts.

Suzanne Lagoni, public information officer for the spill response team, said the source of the leak, which was a valve on the barge, was contained quickly. There will be an investigation into the cause of the incident.

Lagoni said monitors at the site show no elevated levels of chemicals in the air.

Washington’s Department of Ecology said on social media Saturday that there was a crude oil sheen on the surface of the water within a containment boom — put in place during the transfer and prior to the spill — covering about 620 square metres.

“We haven’t observed oil outside of the containment boom, and a second layer of protection is being added for more security,” the department wrote.

Neither Shell nor Crowley Maritime could be reached for comment.

Crews at the refinery dock stopped the oil transfer immediately and activated the refinery’s oil-spill plan upon noticing the spill.


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