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Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Ecology orders Shell to inspect lines at Anacortes plant

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Shell Puget Sound Refinery near Anacortes has been ordered by the state Department of Ecology to inspect all transfer lines and related equipment after a series of spills.

The order was issued Tuesday and requires Shell to report back to the agency on a quarterly basis through 2009 and detail how and when it plans to fix any problems.

Shell Oil Co. has 30 days to appeal Ecology’s order.

The company uses 3-mile-long oil transfer lines that run between its tanks and the dock where oil is transferred to and from oil tankers and fuel barges. About two miles of the lines run above marine waters along the causeway and the fueling dock area.

The refinery reported two small gasoline spills on July 21 and Sept. 6, 2006, after which Ecology engineers found that external pipeline corrosion had weakened portions of the transfer lines. A notice of violation was issued.

On Jan. 27, five gallons of crude oil leaked from one of the refinery’s pipeline segments under the loading dock. The spill occurred due to internal pipeline corrosion, Ecology said.

Three days later, one gallon of oil spilled into Fidalgo Bay during marine transfer operations. That spill was not related to pipeline corrosion but is under investigation, said Sue Krienen, the refinery’s general manager.

Friday, February 2, 2007 · Last updated 2:07 p.m. PT

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