READER PHOTOS: Oil/Fuel Spill Spotted Off Burien Shoreline

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On Friday, Nov. 26th Burien resident Wayne Sykes sent us the above photos and following email about an oil spill that he spotted off of Burien’s shoreline, west of SW 152nd:

Appears to be a small fuel slick off Burien, west of SW 152nd, rainbow sheen on water with fuel oil smell in air at about 11:30 AM.

After we responded to his email, he sent us the following on Saturday:

I smelled the oil as I was leaving, so called it in to NRC (the National Response Center, a federal agency that handles oil spill reports) who notified Coast Guard. Do not know if any agency ever responded; they called my house asking for updates after I left, so probably no agency spent the budget to followup. Probably too “small” to warrant any response, and with wind and waves was long gone by the time I returned.

…seems to be a “light” petrol product. Other neighbors have reported the spill to WA Ecology. Coast Guard supposed to send an investigator today (Saturday, Nov. 27th). Supposedly a spill was reported in Tacoma area also today.

Saw an otter frantically jumping out of water just past spill area a few minutes ago.  But did not have camera ready.  Otters live in the bulkheads along this stretch (large boulders do provide habitat for some water creatures).

Here’s what we know:

  • Because this spill is in Puget Sound, it is out of the jurisdiction of the city of Burien.
  • It appears that this is now a state issue, specifically with the State Department of Ecology.
  • We sent an inquiry to a representative from Ecology, but have not yet heard back, most likely because it’s a holiday weekend.

As we learn more about this, we’ll update the blog so check back often.

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One Response to “READER PHOTOS: Oil/Fuel Spill Spotted Off Burien Shoreline”
  1. Wayne Sykes says:

    Sunday Nov 28th, two fellows from the Coast Guard came by Sunday around noon. They have been actively investigating for a couple of days now and found a damaged oil tank on the beach that seems to be the source. Unfourtuantely the spill was too thinly distributed by the time they got the report to allow for an active cleanup of the petrol in the water. Will have to let mother nature disperse and decompose the spill. But it reinforces the concept that our trash does not just “go away” as the petrol hung around for a couple of days as the currents moved it up and down the waterfront.

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