FOLLOWUP: Spilled-fuel cleanup continues long after West Seattle tanker crash

(WSB photo, Thursday afternoon)

More than a week after a Coleman Oil tanker truck spilled thousands of gallons of gasoline at the West Marginal/Chelan/Spokane/Delridge intersection, a cleanup crew was still on scene when we went through the intersection Thursday afternoon. We’ve since obtained more followup information from Seattle Public Utilities:

The responsible party hired an environmental consultant and cleanup contractor. SPU monitors and advises on their activities. SPU’s goal is to ensure that pollution in the stormwater system doesn’t leave and is cleaned out.

The Oil and Water Separator (OWS) is still operating. There is also a large pneumatic plug in the stormwater pipe downstream from the spill. The plug blocks polluted flows from heading downstream and into the Duwamish. The contractor will also be pressure washing our pipes between the spill and the plug.

Most of the spilled fuel went into the oil water separator (OWS). The contractor has pumped out both the OWS and the pipes behind the plug. Collected materials have either been recycled or are being processed as hazardous waste. Early numbers indicate that we’ve recovered over 2000 gallons of gasoline, but we won’t know the final amount until the responsible party reports and Department of Ecology verifies.

Ecology and SPU have monitored related outfalls along the Duwamish and have seen sheen. Department of Ecology has taken samples to determine the environmental impacts.

We will bill the responsible party for our time and materials, and we will investigate the incident under Seattle Municipal Code 22.800.

We’ll continue checking back, with the Department of Ecology too.

(WSB photo, last week)

No one was hurt when one of the truck’s tanks went sideways the night of Wednesday, August 1st, with an early police assessment noting it happened during a “sharp right turn.” The incident kept the intersection closed – with West Seattle “low bridge” access blocked – for almost 12 hours.

8 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Spilled-fuel cleanup continues long after West Seattle tanker crash"

  • Jim P. August 10, 2018 (10:00 pm)

    Good to know the responsible people will be handed the bill for this.  I was concerned the taxpayer would get stuck with it.

  • MJ August 11, 2018 (9:53 am)

    Jim P.  Agreed!  And I wish the City and State would make all people responsible for this type of environmental impact pay for the damage and clean up.  

    • Tsurly August 11, 2018 (11:28 am)

      MJ do you have any credible examples of when parties responsible for these kinds of incidents are not responsible for damage and cleanup?

  • MJ August 16, 2018 (4:33 pm)

    TsurlyYes.  I contacted the City inquiring whether the owner of the RV that ran off the street into Longfellow Creek and spilled fuel into the creek was fined.  The City did not fine the owner in this case.MJ

    • WSB August 16, 2018 (4:53 pm)

      The RV did not go into the creek after all, per SPU, and there was no evidence of a fuel spill, as we reported. Completely different situation.

  • Mj August 16, 2018 (6:21 pm)

    The WSB notes at 12:52 AM reported that the vehicle was leaking fuel.

    • WSB August 16, 2018 (6:37 pm)

      That’s what first responders feared, but it turned out it was not. We followed up with SPU in the link in my previous comment.

  • MJ August 16, 2018 (9:47 pm)

    Thank you for the clarification

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