Vandalism at the construction site on the Murray Morgan Bridge is being blamed for a early morning spill of diesel fuel into the Thea Foss Waterway.
The Tacoma Fire Department, which arrived on the scene at 9 a.m., is estimating that between 20 and 100 gallons of fuel went into the waterway.
Curt Hart, a Department of Ecology spokesman, says that, based on current information from the bridge-renovation contractor, the spill is likely at the low end of that range.
The spill was noticed by construction workers arriving at the job site Saturday morning. The nozzle on a 500-gallon tank used to fuel construction equipment had been damaged, according to Tacoma Fire spokesman Jeff Chandler.
Fuel spilled into the waterway and spread north in a sheen that stretches to Dock Street Landing.
Hart said very little of the spill is likely to be recovered because it is so thoroughly dissipated.
Crews decided not to use containment booms and instead are attempting to recover as much of the oil as possible with absorbent pads, Hart said.
Tacoma Police are investigating the suspected vandalism.