Coleman Oil has been charged over $189,000 in fines for spilling more than 3,840 gallons of biodiesel into the Columbia river and nearby areas.
The cause of the spill was the result of a corroded underground pipe that was laid at Coleman Oil’s oil plant in 1935. Coleman Oil did not complete their regular inventory control procedures or underground piping industry standard inspections which caused the corrosion and leak to go undetected. The biodiesel leaked into the Columbia river which caused an on and off sheen on the rivers surface.
The Department of Ecology Spills Program responded to the site on March 17, 2017 when the visible sheen was first reported. Tests were conducted and lab results identified the pollution as biodiesel. The Department of Ecology was able to trace the leak back to the Coleman Oil facility located near the river. According to Dale Jensen, the manager for the Department of Ecology Spills Program, the spill “could easily have been prevented if the company had been properly monitoring the fuel level in that tank.”
Coleman Oil’s oil plant in Wenatchee is now a toxic cleanup site. According to news sources, the company has been cooperative and responsive during the investigation and has worked on site cleanup since October 2017. Additionally, groundwater monitoring wells are installed and regularly sample the groundwater to verify how much contamination remains and pump out any remaining toxic contaminants to protect the river. According to the Department of Ecology, the investigation will continue and they will verify whether the river’s sediment or surrounding ground is contaminated from the spill.
Coleman Oil has been charged $189.000 in fines in addition to $213,400 to be paid to the state for spill response costs. The resource damage assessment, environmental restoration costs, enhancement project costs, and additional funding costs are still to be determined. The total state penalty including the cost reimbursement and damage assessment are expected to total more than $1 million. All funds collected from the penalty are to be put towards the state’s Coastal Protection Fund.
If you haven’t been keeping up with your State and Federal compliance requirements or if you’re struggling to understand your requirements, leave us a comment or call us at 888-400-3511.
Read the original story here: http://www.kpq.com/coleman-oil-could-face-1-million-in-fines-and-damages-for-columbia-river-spill/