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Washington DOC Fined $22,503 For Fuel Spill

The Washington Department of Corrections (WDOC) has been fined $22,503 for polluting the environment with thousands of gallons of diesel fuel, the Tacoma News Tribune reported on September 3, 2004.

In October 2002, 6,100 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled at the McNeil Island Corrections Center. The Department of Ecology (DOE) levied the fine because prison officials failed to timely notify it of the accident and because about 2,500 gallons of the diesel contaminated a nearby wetland.
Another 3,600 gallons leaked into a local wastewater treatment plant. DOE officials found trace amounts of fuel in the plant's discharge, which flows into Puget Sound.

According to the DOE, had the prison followed its own procedures the damage could have been minimized. If the facility's spill contingency plan had been followed appropriately, the cleanup would have gone quicker and it's possible that less environmental damage would have occurred," said DOE spill response manager Dave Beyers.

The spill was caused by a faulty automatic shut-off switch on a fuel tank at the prison's emergency generator building, the DOE said.

Source: The News Tribune (Tacoma)

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