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Crews handling diesel spill in creek that empties into Puget Sound

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 30, 2010 at 5:47 am |
April 30, 2010 8:53 am
Photo courtesy of KIRO TV's Chopper 7

Several agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and state Department of Ecology, are working to contain and clean up a diesel fuel spill leaking into a small creek in Federal Way’s Dash Point State Park.

The creek empties into Puget Sound, the state Department of Ecology reports. The area of the park where the spill occurred is closed as crews continue their work.

Crews say the spill is coming from a privately-owned, 300-gallon tank used to fuel construction equipment. Investigators say the tank had recently been filled and believe there was an equipment failure. It appears the tank has been emptied.

A worker with Long Painting told investigators he noticed nothing unusual when he went to the trailer about 7:45 p.m. Thursday. Less than an hour later, diesel fuel was trickling across a parking lot, into a grassy area and soaking the ground and flowing into the creek, the state Department of Ecology reports.

The ecology department was notified about 10 p.m.

Crews are using absorbent pads and booms to keep the fuel in the creek from going further into Puget Sound, ecology crews reported.

A South King County fire crew brought a trailer filled with oil spill response equipment. The King County Sheriff’s Office was contacted to arrange for a helicopter equipped with  infrared radar to come to the scene. The radar can track petroleum products on the water at night and can determine the extent of the spill.

“Ecology will continue its investigation and will work with fish and wildlife officials to determine what environmental damage resulted from the spill. Cultural resource and archeological officials also will consult local tribes to ensure cleanup efforts do not cause further damage,” a press release states. “Oil was visible in the surrounding water. Oil spilled in water typically forms oily patches that spread out quickly. These oil slicks can cover many acres of water.”

Photo courtesy of KIRO TV's Chopper 7
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