M/V Songa Hua Oil Cleanup Continutes in Puget Sound

SEATTLE – Response teams continue to clean up an oil spill around and underneath Pier 91 and along the Elliott Bay Marina breakwater.

The main area of impact of the remaining oil appears to be on the pilings underneath Pier 91 and along the breakwater of Elliott Bay Marina. The cleanup is being coordinated with the Port of Seattle. The assessment and labor-intensive cleanup of the impacted shoreline will continue throughout the weekend.

Cleanup crews cleaned and removed all the spilled oil on the deck and hull of the Songa Hua, and recovered approximately one gallon of the spilled intermediate fuel oil from Elliott Bay.

The Coast Guard and Washington State Department of Ecology are overseeing the response effort.

The Marshall Islands-flagged bulk grain cargo ship, Songa Hua, spilled approximately 42 gallons of oil into the bay early in the morning of Wednesday. The ship was at anchor south of Pier 91 and refueling from a barge operated by the Olympic Tug and Barge Company.

The ship’s owner has hired O’Brien Group as the spill management team for the cleanup.

The cause of the oil release that occurred during an oil transfer operation between the Songa Hua and the barge is under investigation by the Coast Guard and the Department of Ecology.

Approximately 168 gallons of Intermediate Fuel Oil, a heavy dark oil, escaped from a tank air vent on the Songa Hua. Most of the oil remained on deck. About 42 gallons of oil spilled down the side of the vessel and into the waters of Elliott Bay. The fuel barge crew immediately stopped refueling, and then set out oil spill containment boom. The Department of Ecology’s recently adopted fuel-transfer rule requires such preparation for a spill emergency.

All oil spills are significant, regardless of size or type. Oil is toxic to the environment, and a single quart of oil has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water.
Information on the Songa Hua Elliott Bay oil spill is available on-line at the Department of Ecology website.

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