The state Department of Ecology has fined U.S. Oil more than $28,000 for spilling about 75 gallons of diesel fuel into Tacoma’s Blair Waterway in November 2010.
The fuel spilled through a drain valve that had been inadvertently left open while the company tested a new 8-inch pipeline at its Tacoma refinery, the department said Friday.
A U.S. Oil worker spotted the leak, closed the valve and built a soil barrier to prevent more fuel from reaching the waterway, the department said.
“While we’re pleased U.S. Oil acted swiftly to stop the fuel spill and clean up the oil, the spill should have been prevented in the first place,” Ecology spills program manager Dale Jensen said.
U.S. Oil spokeswoman Marcia Neilsen said the company takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and is sorry the spill occurred.adam.lynn@ thenewstribune.com