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DEPT. OF ECOLOGY: $153,000 IN FINES ISSUED FOR TWO FUELING-CAUSED OIL SPILLS

 OLYMPIA, Wash., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Ecology announced it has issued $153,000 in penalties for two oil spills in Puget Sound and the Columbia River resulting from improper fueling procedures.
 Barber International of Oslo, Norway, operator of the Nosac Forest, a 598-foot cargo vessel, was fined $90,000 for a 5,000 gallon oil spill in Tacoma's Blair Waterway on April 21.
 Azuero Shipping Japan Ltd., owner of the freighter vessel Central, was assessed a $63,000 penalty for a 3,000 gallon oil spill in the Columbia River during June.
 "These two spills were the result of improper fueling procedures and both were preventable," said Ecology Director Mary Riveland. "These penalties should send a strong message that fueling operations need to be improved by the shipping industry."
 According to Ecology's enforcement action, the Nosac Forest spill resulted from the crew's failure to exercise reasonable care during a fuel transfer operation. A tank was overfilled and oil spilled into Blair Waterway because the crew failed to properly measure fuel in the tank before and during the fueling operation.
 Cleanup crews deployed more than 5,000 feet of boom, operated several skimmers and cleaned contaminated beaches. Environmental damages from the spill included oiled geese, ducks, starfish, crabs and more than 8,000 feet of impacted shoreline.
 The Central spill occurred on June 3 when the vessel's crew failed to close a crossover valve during fueling operations at the Longview anchorage. When an adjacent fuel tank was filled, oil also flowed into the full tank and overflowed through a vent onto the deck of the vessel.
 Approximately 3,000 gallons of intermediate fuel oil spilled over the side of ship and into the Columbia River as a result of the crew's negligent actions.
 During the three-day spill response effort, some 7,000 feet of oil containment boom and two oil collection skimmers were deployed. Oil from the spill contaminated wildlife habitat between Longview and the mouth of the Columbia River.
 Few direct impacts on wildlife were observed, but state Wildlife and Fisheries officials expressed concern for eagles, nesting terns, Canada geese and other wildlife and fish.
 Riveland said the penalties do not address state and federal claims for environmental damages and cleanup costs. Natural Resource Damage Assessments are currently being completed for the two spills and monetary assessments for the environmental damages will be issued to Barber International and Azuero Shipping.
 The penalties can be appealed to Ecology and/or the Pollution Control Hearings Board.
 -0- 8/26/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Hunter, spill operations supervisor, 206-438-8617, or Eric Heinitz, regional spill supervisor, 206-753-3021, both of Washington State Department of Ecology/


CO: Washington State Department of Ecology; Barber International;
 Azuero Shipping Japan Ltd. ST: Washington IN: SU:


JH -- SE005 -- 6300 08/26/93 15:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1993
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