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Crews responding to diesel spill on Blair Waterway

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Nov. 30, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
November 30, 2010 5:39 pm

Clean-up crews are responding to a diesel fuel spill this afternoon in Tacoma’s Blair Waterway.

The waterway is open to marine traffic but vessels should avoid making wakes and should stay away from the clean-up area.

An employee with U.S. Oil & Refining Co. noticed a leak on a partially open bleeder valve during a fuel transfer today, the state Department of Ecology reports. Workers shut the valve, halting the transfer.

An oil containment boom has been deployed.

Based on preliminary observations, crews believe less than 25 gallons of diesel fuel has spilled from the shore side into the Blair Waterway, DOE reports. An investigation into the cause of the spill and the amount of leaked diesel is underway.

The Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Oil were responding to the spill.

No injuries have been reported.

UPDATE: A helicopter conducted an aerial overflight and confirmed that no more than 25 gallons spilled from the shore side into the waterway, said Department of Ecology spokesman Curt Hart.

A containment boom was put out for the afternoon and an absorbent boom will be left in the water overnight to pick up any residual fuel.

Because the bleeder valve is about 20-30 feet above the water, an unknown amount of fuel spilled onto the ground. A high-powered vacuum truck was used to suck up potentially contaminated soil and pebbles, Hart said.

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