Crude oil spilled during transfer of 5 million gallons of oil in Washington state

Oil Spill Washington Department

State officials say the crude oil sheen on the water covers an area about 225 feet by 30 feet.

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FIDALGO BAY, Wash. — The Washington Department of Ecology said Saturday that a crude oil spill in Fidalgo Bay is “almost cleaned up.”

“There were no impacts to the shoreline or wildlife,” department spokeswoman Cheryl Ann Bishop said in an email.

The spill happened Friday night when a Crowley Maritime barge was transferring 5 million gallons of oil to the Shell Puget Sound Refinery. The agency tweeted earlier Saturday that it and the US Coast Guard were responding.

It’s not clear how much oil spilled, but the Department of Ecology reported the crude oil sheen on the water covered an area approximately 225 feet by 30 feet.

A state law that requires deploying a boom before an oil transfer over water was “in part” the reason why damage was limited and the clean-up so quick, Bishop said.

A containment boom was in place and “responders are actively working to recover the spilled material,” Shell Puget Sound Refinery said in a news release posted on its website earlier Saturday.

The refinery said later that the source of the spill was identified to be a pressure relief valve on the barge.

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