A ConocoPhillips Co. oil tanker is responsible for a 1,000-gallon oil spill that tarnished more than 20 miles of Puget Sound shorelines, U.S. Coast Guard officials and the governor's office said today.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — A ConocoPhillips Co. oil tanker is responsible for a 1,000-gallon oil spill that tarnished more than 20 miles of Puget Sound shorelines, U.S. Coast Guard officials and the governor’s office said today.
In a statement, Gov. Gary Locke and Coast Guard Rear Adm. Jeffrey Garrett said state and federal lab tests showed that the tanker Polar Texas was the source of the October spill in Dalco Passage near Tacoma.
“We have a match, which makes us confident we know the source of the oil spill,” Locke said.
He added that state officials “appreciate that the company has been working with us to figure out the answers.”
Houston-based ConocoPhillips did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The spill, reported early on Oct. 14, cost nearly $2 million to clean up. It left an oily slick as far south as the Tacoma Narrows and as far north as Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island.
Garrett and Locke established the 14-member Oil Spill Early Action Task Force to examine this spill and find ways to better respond to such spills in the future.
The 899-foot Polar Texas went into service in 1973 and also has been known as the Arco Texas and the Chevron Hawaii, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported, citing Coast Guard records. It was supposed to go out of service on Nov. 19, according to the records.
The tanker had six mostly minor oil spills from 1992 to 1999, the records show. It dumped more than 1,000 gallons of crude oil at the Tosco Refinery in Puget Sound in June 1999.
Overall, it’s been involved in more than 30 “marine casualties” over the past 12 years, including a collision, equipment failures and injured crew members.