Olympic Pipeline gasoline spill update

(CONWAY)- Spill responders have completed the emergency response to the December 10, 2023 gasoline spill from the Olympic Pipeline in Conway, Washington. The Unified Command leading the operation has ensured that no additional gasoline is seeping into nearby Hill Ditch, and is confident in turning the site over to the Washington Department of Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program who will oversee any remaining remediation work, according to a news release from the county.

The Unified Command includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Department of Ecology, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Lummi Nation, Skagit County Department of Emergency Management, and bp who operates the Olympic pipeline. With the conclusion of emergency response operations, the Unified Command has disbanded.

“On behalf of bp, I’d like to express my appreciation to the community of Conway for their patience and support as we worked to respond to the incident. We also thank responding agencies and crews who worked diligently to clean the area. We deeply regret that the incident happened,” said Terry Zimmerman, Incident Commander.

“I would like to acknowledge the responders’ efforts to contain the spill and mitigate impacts to the environment and nearby community. I am grateful for the understanding shown by the community of Conway during the response effort,” said Monica Tonel, EPA On-Scene Coordinator.

“This phase marks an important end to a long, complicated response,” said Madeline Fritzen, State On-Scene Coordinator. “I want to thank all the responders who have put in long hours over the last several months. That said, there is still more work to do, and the Department of Ecology will be here until the job is done.”

“I am grateful for the team effort put forward during the response phase by numerous tribes, local, state, and federal agencies,” said one of the Tribal On-Scene Coordinator Keri Cleary. “The coordination between so many different entities during clean-up was impressive. It was a very positive experience in how unified command should work during an event, and we all learned a lot. Everyone made sure that tribal representation was present and their concerns were heard from day one.”

“I would like to thank all the first responders, agencies, and County staff from Emergency Management, Public Health, and Public Works, involved with the Unified Command for their hard work and long hours spent responding to the spill,” said Julie de Losada, Local On-Scene Coordinator. “We are grateful to have such a knowledgeable team behind the cleanup and we look forward to seeing the remediation process completed.”