Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Manson Construction Fined for Blair Waterway Spill

The Washington State Department of Ecology on April 30 announced that it is fining Seattle-based Manson Construction Co. $10,000 by for spilling nearly 180 gallons of diesel fuel from a barge into the Port of Tacoma’s Blair Waterway.

The Ecology Dept. says it has also billed Manson $2,800 to recover the state’s costs for conducting the cleanup. The final penalty amount collected will be deposited in special accounts to pay for environmental restoration and enhancement projects, according to the Ecology Dept.

The penalty was levied in part because it was determined the spill was due to negligence, according to the Ecology Dept.

The spill occurred on the morning of Oct. 29, 2010, when Manson was transferring fuel from a tug to the fuel tank of a barge. The company failed to monitor the transfer, and consequently diesel fuel overflowed from the fuel tank vent.

The vessels were moored just offshore of the Washington United Terminal at the time.

“Quick action by the barge and tug crew resulted in 168 gallons recovered from the water out of 177 spilled to water,” Southwest Regional Office Spill Response Unit Supervisor Jim Sachet said. “However, anytime that any amount of fuel is spilled into a waterway it causes damage.”

In a prepared statement, Manson Construction President Eric Haug said his company accepted responsibility for the incident.

“Manson Construction takes environmental quality very seriously and deeply regrets this incident taking place,” he said. “Manson has taken actions to prevent such accidents in the future.”

Manson is eligible to appeal the penalty to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days, according to the Ecology Dept.