Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Bulk Carrier Owner Fined for Oil Spill

By Mark Edward Nero

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined Norden Shipping PTE $2,100 for allowing oil to enter the Columbia River, the ODEQ revealed May 2.

On Feb. 18, the company’s bulk carrier vessel Nord Auckland, anchored in the Columbia River near the Port of Kalama in Kalama, Washington, spilled about 13 gallons of waste oil into the Columbia River after a waste oil incinerator tank on Nord Auckland overflowed, causing waste oil to flow onto the deck of the vessel and into the Columbia River.

From Feb. 18 through Feb. 19, there was an oil sheen on the Columbia River downstream of Nord Auckland up to three quarters of a mile long.

“Spilling oil into the Columbia River is a serious violation of Oregon environmental law,” the Dept. of Environmental Quality said in a statement. “The spilling of oil or petroleum products into the river has negative environmental impacts on aquatic life and ecosystems. DEQ is concerned with the adverse impacts and cumulative effects that numerous spills of this kind have on the water quality of the Columbia River and on Oregon’s water quality in general.”

In determining the penalty amount, which is relatively small compared to what could have been imposed, the ODEQ said it took into consideration the company’s efforts to minimize the effects of the violation by deploying containment boom and absorbents to contain the spill and washing the vessel’s hull.