Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oil Spilled in Tacoma’s Blair Waterway

About 50 gallons of oil accidentally spilled into the Port of Tacoma’s Blair Waterway the night of July 6 after a tanker truck aboard a ship was inadvertently ruptured.

The incident occurred when a tanker truck on board the M/V Midnight Sun was struck by another vehicle, rupturing one of the truck’s four compartments, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

The Ecology Dept. and US Coast Guard both responded to the scene, where about 1,500 gallons of lube oil wound up spilling from the tanker. Most of the fluid, however, was contained on the ship’s deck.

The spill to water was controlled with an oil containment boom, and no more oil was believed to have gotten into the waterway.

A private contractor, NRC Environmental Services, and other cleanup crews worked on the deck of the M/V Midnight Sun and on the water last weekend, according to the Ecology Dept.

The accident came just two weeks after the Ecology Dept. announced it had fined US Oil & Refining Co. more than $28,000 for spilling about 75 gallons of diesel fuel in Blair Waterway.

The spill, which occurred in November 2010, happened when the Tacoma-based refinery was testing a new eight-inch oil pipeline.