Duwamish Waterway fuel spill results in hefty fine for Boeing

July 1, 2011
The Washington Department of Ecology has fined Boeing $102,000 for spilling jet fuel into the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle last year...

OLYMPIA, WA, July 1, 2011 -- The Washington Department of Ecology has fined The Boeing Company $102,000 for spilling an estimated 300 gallons of jet fuel into the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle last year.

The spill occurred May 28, 2010, during delivery of jet fuel to an aboveground storage tank at a Boeing fuel terminal in south Seattle. A maintenance valve had been left open, resulting in spillage of about 6,600 gallons of fuel through into a 19,000-gallon underground stormwater vault. Three hundred gallons of that fuel eventually made its way to the Duwamish.

Boeing staff believed the stormwater vault had contained the spill on the company's property and did not immediately report the incident. When reports of oil in the Duwamish began coming in from citizens, state and federal responders investigated.

Ecology was able to match oil samples from the river with samples from the Boeing facility, confirming the source of the spill.

Washington law and the facility's water quality permit issued by Ecology require immediate reporting of oil spills -- including spills to stormwater systems -- to state and federal authorities.

In addition to the penalty, Ecology billed Boeing $5,500 to recover the state's costs for conducting the spill cleanup and investigation.

The company has the right to appeal Ecology's penalty to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.


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