State, Coast Guard investigating diesel spill in Harbor Island waters

March 4, 2009 8:39 pm
|    Comments Off on State, Coast Guard investigating diesel spill in Harbor Island waters
 |   Environment | Seen at sea | West Seattle news

Just in from the Department of Ecology, word that the state’s investigating a diesel spill of unknown size in Duwamish waters near Harbor Island – read on for the full news release:

A spills response team with the Washington Department of Ecology is investigating a diesel fuel spill in the Duwamish River near Harbor Island reported late this afternoon.

An Ecology crew and the U.S. Coast Guard tried to track the source of the spill before dark but were unable to determine the source . It was reported about 4:30 p.m. by Olympic Tug and Barge on Harbor Island. The tug and barge company did not cause the spill, according to Brad Martin with the Department of Ecology, but in fact helped clean up part of the spill, recovering about 25 gallons of the fuel from the river on the southeastern side of Harbor Island. The size and the extent of the spill is unknown tonight, Martin said.

Martin said because diesel fuel spreads and evaporates quickly in water, it may be difficult to locate any trace of it even in the daylight Thursday. There were no visual impacts from the spill on fish or wildlife tonight.

All fuel spills cause environmental damage regardless of size. A single quart of oil, for example, has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water. Investigation of the Duwamish River spill will continue Thursday morning.

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