November 10, 2009

Oil spill could threaten Puget Sound, Duwamish

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A 65-foot vessel at Harbor Island began to sink and released diesel fuel into the water at the Port of Seattle this morning. The Department of Ecology sent me this press release, and I’ve been told an update is on the way:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – (Nov. 10, 2009 5:15 a.m.)

Contacts:
Larry Altose, Department of Ecology media relations
Lt. Jennifer Osburn, Coast Guard public affairs

Ecology, Coast Guard and Port of Seattle responding to Harbor Is. oil spill

(SEATTLE) – The Washington Department of Ecology, U.S. Coast Guard and the Port of Seattle are responding to an oil spill at the Harbor Island Marina in Seattle. A 65-foot vessel has partially sunk at its berth and is releasing diesel oil into the Duwamish Waterway.

More information about the spill will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

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So, more information is developing, but this underscores the risks to urban waters like the Duwamish River and Puget Sound. (Harbor Island is at the mouth of the Duwamish where it flows into Elliot Bay.)

Not coincidentally, my InvestigateWest colleagues have covered both waterways extensively. Notably in this series on the Puget Sound (featuring work by Robert McClure and Lisa Stiffler) and this series on the Duwamish (featuring work by McClure).

— Daniel Lathrop

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