Coast Guard safely removes hazardous material from Totten Inlet

SEATTLE – Crews from Coast Guard Sector Seattle completed the removal of oil products and hazardous materials Thursday afternoon, from the 185-foot fishing vessel Kopcakoe in the Totten Inlet near Olympia, Wash.

The owner of the Kopcakoe had repeatedly failed to comply with Coast Guard requirements causing the Coast Guard and Department of Natural Resources to take action to protect the environment from the pollutants on board the neglected vessel.

The Coast Guard contracted for the removal of the oil and hazardous materials utilizing the Federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act Fund. Under direction of the Coast Guard, Global Diving and Salvage removed approximately 3,000 gallons of oil, 1,500 gallons of oily water, and three cubic feet of mixed hazardous materials from the vessel. Total cost of the waste removal conducted from May 30 to June 7 is approximately $150,000.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources is taking possession of the Kopcakoe for further disposition of the vessel.

The Coast Guard, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Ecology view derelict and neglected vessels as a significant source of pollution in Puget Sound and will continue to work together to mitigate threats of pollution from these vessels.

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