Ecology Works To Clean Up After Oil Pipeline Spill

Aug 3, 2017

Up to twenty-five thousand gallons of  jet fuel spilled from a pipeline Wednesday afternoon near Tacoma. A contractor working in the roadway accidentally drilled into the pipe, which was transporting jet fuel to Joint Base Lewis McChord.

The spill comes just as activists throughout the Pacific Northwest are protesting plans for new and expanded energy pipelines.

Sandy Howard, with the Washington Department of Ecology, said fuel spill was limited by intermittent shut-off valves on the pipeline.

“As soon as there was a rupture, there was a drop in pressure, and it signaled those shut-off valves, so there was an automatic shutoff that occurred after the puncture,” Howard said.

That’s exactly the kind of automatic safety feature people concerned about oil transportation safety are advocating for.

The hole has been found and patched, Howard said, and the Department of Ecology is working with US Oil and Refining, the company that owns the pipeline, to remove all the contaminated soil and asphalt from the site.

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