Is Washington ready for the next big oil spill? – Crosscut

Sadly, not. Case in point, forget Discovery Bay if there is a big one. It’s not possible to protect it from being flooded with oil. The only real way to protect for an oil spill is to focus heavily on prevention, items like the rescue tug at Neah Bay. And continuing to update our Vessel Traffic system, force continued transition to double hulled vessels (not yet required on freighters, but now required on tankers). And to not build oil ports to increase the huge output of oil carried on the water.

On a calm, clear afternoon in December 1985, the Arco Anchorage made a routine stop in Port Angeles. It was killing time, waiting its turn to drop off 814,000 barrels of Alaskan crude oil at the Cherry Point Refinery, 22 miles north of Bellingham. Somehow, despite perfect conditions, the Anchorage ran aground. Rocks on the ocean bottom tore two long slits through ship’s hull; the oil began to leak immediately. Over the next few hours, 239,000 gallons of oil spilled into the harbor. Samantha Larson reports. (Crosscut)

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