13,000-gallon gasoline spill on Harbor Island

The U.S. Coast Guard has sent information about the early-morning gasoline spill that brought a multi-agency emergency response to Harbor Island. The USCG says it happened at Shell‘s facility around 4:45 am, and that it was blamed on a pump failure. According to the Coast Guard, the spill was contained before it got into the waterway:

It was reported the tank lined up to feed the pump that failed had 160,749 gallons of gasoline at midnight. Approximately 13,825 gallons of gasoline had been reported released mixed with free-standing water in primary and secondary containment.

There is no report of gasoline in the nearby Duwamish River at this time, and it has been reported the source has been secured.

Coast Guard pollution responders from Sector Puget Sound’s Incident Management Division are currently on scene monitoring the cleanup efforts of the responsible party and a Coast Guard Station Seattle 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew is underway monitoring the surrounding area.

Other responding agencies included SFD, SPD, Ecology, and National Response Corporation Environmental Services.

6 Replies to "13,000-gallon gasoline spill on Harbor Island"

  • For orca mammas October 1, 2020 (7:10 pm)

    Hearing of gasoline spills is always so upsetting. Even if it doesn’t immediately make it into the water, it can probably leach through the soil, or make its way into the water after a hard rain. So tired of hearing about environmental contamination and disasters! We must work to change our activities and industries, for the health of our environment and wildlife.

  • Mark47n October 2, 2020 (5:01 am)

    In facilities such as this primary and secondary containment are designed to be leakproof. They are not built on soil, they are built on concrete slabs with walls surrounding the tank, designed to accommodate something on the order of 110%  of the capacity of the tank and lined, taking into consideration the porous nature of concrete. The story indicates that the spill didn’t breach secondary containment thus preventing an environmental incident. In other words, the measure to protect against environmental damage worked.

    • 22blades October 3, 2020 (2:59 am)

      That is a bit simplistic. All the tertiary activities in a spill event goes far beyond the containment devices. Every containment boom, scrubber, boat, truck, piece of workwear, either has to get cleaned or winds up in a landfill. Sure, it contained a 10,000 gallon wall of gasoline but it doesn’t make it a clean & safe environment.

    • For o.m. October 3, 2020 (7:33 am)

      Thanks for sharing and clarifying regarding this spill and it’s containment. Good to hear this is likely well contained.

      My overall concern about environmental threats from these harmful industries still stands though.

      Orcas are most at risk with oil spills that reach the water, because of the harmful exposure and their low population count.  Other species are at risk too.

      Sea Otters have lived for millions of years, and are at risk of extinction. The single biggest threat to endangered sea otters is oil spills.



      Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to plan for  how to try to rescue and save oiled wildlife, because of the threat of oil spills?


      Electric car technology exists. It seems to me we need more efforts and programs to help transition people from oil jobs to electric transportation jobs. We have got to move faster at righting our courses.

      I don’t know all the answers, but I’d sure like to find them, and we’ve got to try, right?

  • JJ October 2, 2020 (8:49 am)

    Wait! What? Didn’t Shell just say, when a pipeline and terminal were being debated, that spills are nearly impossible because they are so modern and technologically advanced? How could this be? A spill, mercy me!

  • Fishyone October 2, 2020 (11:45 am)

    Still a dangerous situation with highly flamable vapors present. The incident aint over until it’s over. If a spark happens to ignite the vapors then the real disaster starts. 

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