25 Years Later, Exxon Valdez Spill Effects Linger – Associated Press

25 years later, and the pain and destruction just keeps on keepin on. This is why we are so hard core about protecting us from an oil spill. I want to point out that we should be very proud of the Coast Guard here in the Sound that have done an excellent job of vessel traffic control, and our politicians like Representative Kevin Van De Wege who helped push through the rescue tug at Neah Bay (with the help of the Tribes, many governmental and NGOs too over 15 years of work).  There are new threats coming, and the need to be ever vigilant is never going to leave. But we have done a great job up to now. Knock on wood.

Before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, there was the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, at the time the nation’s largest oil spill.

The 987-foot tanker, carrying 53 million gallons of crude, struck Bligh Reef at 12:04 a.m. on March 24, 1989. Within hours, it unleashed an estimated 10.8 million gallons of thick, toxic crude oil into the water. Storms and currents then smeared it over 1,300 miles of shoreline.

Read the whole story at:

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/25-years-exxon-valdez-spill-effects-linger-22981757

Drift Card Project Shows the impact of an Oil Spill – Globe and Mail

Experiment using plywood cards shows the effects of a major oil spill on the Strait, San Juans and beyond.

An interesting experiment generates unexpected results. And shows how vulnerable we all are to the massive increase in oil tankers that the Canadian Government is hell-bent on creating in the Straits just outside our windows. This issue is trans-border. The San Juans will be one of the first hit by a major spill. The beaches along the Strait are next.

A small piece of plywood that washed up in Haida Gwaii shows the potentially massive reach of an oil spill in the Salish Sea, say environmental groups studying the risks associated with Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/drift-card-project-shows-potential-impact-of-oil-spill/article16845002/

Hood Canal Bangor Oil Spill Update – Various Sources

Still, no one apparently has asked or answered whether the Navy was supposed to have been booming the area of the transfer prior to it being done. That is the critical question that could have averted the spill.

From the Kitsap Sun

No major effects seen from oil spill in Hood Canal
Kitsap Sun
BANGOR — An oil sheen on Hood Canal continued to dissipate Thursday, as Navy crews kept mopping up oil spilled at the Navy’s submarine base at Bangor. Volunteers combing the shoreline found no signs of oiled birds or other wildlife, nor has oil been observed on any beach outside Naval Base Kitsap, said Lisa Copeland, spokeswoman for the Washington Department of Ecology. The Ecology volunteers are trained to help implement geographic response plans, designed to mobilize personnel and equipment at environmentally sensitive areas. Anyone who notices any environmental effects from oil in Hood Canal is asked to call the state’s oiled-bird hotline, (800) 22-BIRDS, Copeland said.

To continue reading >> 

From the Department of Ecology

Thursday, February 13, 2014 3:30 PM

Monday afternoon, Feb. 10, Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, a part of the U.S. Naval installation in west Puget Sound experienced a spill from a waste-transfer system located on a pier into Hood Canal.

As part of the transfer system, a tank exists on the pier and accepts oily waste (water, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, lubricants, etc.) from ships. Monday, the tank system malfunctioned and overflowed. The Navy immediately began responding. They deployed 4000 feet of oil containment boom around the affected area and notified the Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the National Response Center/ U.S. Coast Guard. Early estimations of the spill were 150 gallons.

Early Tuesday, after further investigation and an aerial overflight by the U.S. Coast Guard a large sheen was observed on the water outside of the containment area. The Navy – along with its partners at the Coast Guard, Ecology and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) — established a Unified Command Center at Bangor. The spill was reassessed to be up to 2,000 gallons of oily waste.

Wednesday the cleanup continued and the Unified Command held a press conference at Salisbury Point Park, located near the Hood Canal Bridge. Seattle (KOMO) and local media attended.

Thursday morning another overflight was conducted to view the status of the sheen in the canal. Aerial observations showed the sheen in the canal dissipating. Ecology will continue to monitor until there is no threat of harm to wildlife or the environment. Cleanup efforts are focused on the Delta Pier where the product is recoverable.

Cleanup efforts are ongoing and include containing and skimming as much product from the water as possible; implementing local geographic response plans (which include booming naturally sensitive areas at Lofall, Devil’s Hole and Thorndyke Bay); and assessing shorelines.

No harmful effects to beaches, wildlife or marine life have been identified or reported.

The cleanup/recovery process is expected to continue over the next few days. Once complete, Ecology will begin to analyze data and provide information regarding how much product was recovered and its level of toxicity. Tuesday the Department of Health (DOH) issued a ‘precautionary recommendation’ to avoid harvesting or eating shellfish from Bangor north to the Hood Canal Bridge. Once DOH receives sample results from Ecology, they can reassess their recommendation.

Members of the public or community are urged to call 1-800-22-BIRDS if they notice oiled wildlife or beaches.

http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/incidents/ShipOverboardDischargeSpill/index.html

Beaches appear clean after Bangor naval base spill of oil, water mixture; shellfish harvest still suspended – PDN

I go on vacation for a few days and the Navy screws up Hood Canal…..I  wonder why they didn’t put boom in place around an active fuel transfer, which I believe is the law. Or is it? Also, interesting to note from the earlier story, listed at the bottom, that the Navy dismissed first reports from Washington State Ecology people, that the spill was much larger than they wanted to admit. This is distressing in that the Navy is likely to be very much a lead entity in larger spills that they might cause.

Officials with the Navy, the state Department of Ecology, the Coast Guard and Jefferson County Public Health continued Thursday to monitor the possible effects on wildlife of a 2,000-gallon spill earlier this week of an oil and water mixture at Bangor naval base.  “We haven’t yet seen any oil attached to birds or beaches,” said Lisa Copeland, Ecology spills manager. “But we are watching the situation very carefully and are most concerned with the spill’s effect on wildlife and the environment.” After the spill, the state Department of Health issued a shellfish advisory for Hood Canal from Brown Point on the Toandos Peninsula to the Hood Canal Bridge. Charlie Bermant reports.

http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140214/news/302149977/beaches-appear-clean-after-bangor-naval-base-spill-of-oil-water

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Earlier report of the oil spill:

http://ijpr.org/post/navy-says-failed-pump-led-oily-wastewater-spill-puget-sound

The Navy is blaming a failed pump for its spill of nearly 2,000 gallons of oily wastewater into Puget Sound.

Tom Danaher, spokesman for Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, said the Navy was using a pumping system on one of its piers to remove oily bilge water from a ship late Monday.

 

Oil spill Community Preparedness and Response Workshop held in PT

Good turnout for today’s oil spill response workshop in Port Townsend. Lots of great information, and the ability to chat with representatives of the Coast Guard, and the Oil Spill Team Section, gave a good understanding of what are the processes, and what gaps exist in our ability to handle a spill, large or small, here in the area.

20131109-113719.jpgRobin DuPre from the NW Straits Foundation, sponsors of the workshops.

Mega-Ships Big Opportunity For Northwest Ports – KUOW.org

And the other questions not asked, is how much more fuel are these large ships carrying, and are they double hulled?

One of the world’s largest ships arrived at the Port of Tacoma Sunday morning. The Zim Djibouti slipped in at dawn, carrying loads of goods for big box stores. The vessel is 10,000 TEUs in size, meaning it holds 5,000 shipping containers. When the Zim Djibouti appeared on Sunday, fresh from a port in Vancouver, B.C., containers were 18 across on its upper deck. The ship is part of a new wave of cargo ships emerging from Asian shipyards. They’re super-sized to save fuel costs. Carolyn Adolph reports.
http://kuow.org/post/mega-ships-big-opportunity-northwest-ports

Cargo Ship Loses Steering just west of Port Angeles. Towed safely to PA for repairs.

Another reason all our work on getting rescue tugs and others involved in the protection of the Strait was a good idea. This time the rescue tug was not needed, but another tug from PA came to the rescue. I’ll update this story if there is reason to.

A cargo ship lost steering off Port Angeles just after midnight Wednesday and was towed into the Port Angeles Harbor for repair. The state Department of Ecology received a report from the state Emergency Management Division that the Grand Quest lost steering 6 nautical miles northwest of Port Angeles in the Strait of Juan de Fuca just after 12:15 a.m. The Grand Quest is a 587-foot Panama-flagged auto carrier that left Astoria, Ore., at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday, and was on its way to Tacoma, according to the ship’s GPS locator beacon. The Brian S., a Port Angeles-based tug, towed the ship to anchor in Port Angeles at about 3 a.m., said Petty Officer Katelyn Tyson, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

Cargo ship loses steering, towed to Port Angeles for repairs  http://peninsuladailynews.com/article/20130704/NEWS/307049991/cargo-ship-loses-steering-towed-to-port-angeles-for-repairs

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