EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — An Everett plastic film manufacturer will pay more than $222,000 to settle fines for two oil spills that polluted a storm water pond and tainted local wildlife near an Everett creek.
In July 2018, an Achilles USA employee dropped a moving tote with lubricating oil at the company’s south Everett facility, causing the container to rupture and spill into the building’s storm water system, The Daily Herald reported. The oil was then flushed into a retention pond outside.
While cleaning up that spill, responders found that an overflowing collection pit inside the facility was also draining into the retention pond. A total of 340 gallons of oil were dumped into the pond, which took three weeks to clean up.
Responders caught and cleaned six geese and a snake that were covered in oil. They also saw blue herons covered in oil, but couldn’t catch them.
The state Department of Ecology initially cited Achilles USA $327,200 for liability, negligence and failing to notify authorities of the incident.
The settlement amount, approved by the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board, will go toward environmental restoration managed by public agencies and nonprofits.
In a statement, Achilles called environmental responsibility a priority, noting it has invested over $200,000 in spill prevention equipment and employee training and upgraded its environmental policies and spill prevention plans.