SEATTLE — The Coast Guard concluded its removal of fuel, oil, and hazardous materials (hazmat) from the fishing vessel Pacific Producer, currently moored in the Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma, Wash.
The Coast Guard, Washington Department of Ecology, and Tacoma Fire Department initially responded to a report of an anhydrous ammonia release on Aug. 13, 2023.
The vessel was determined to present a significant threat to the environment and the Federal on Scene Coordinator took action to protect public health and the environment. The Coast Guard utilized the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund), as well as the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, to fund response efforts.
During the response, hazmat crews secured the anhydrous ammonia release and removed 3,500 pounds of ammonia from the vessel. Contractors also removed all miscellaneous hazmat from the vessel, including paint, flammable liquids, corrosives, and pressurized gas cylinders.
Additionally, due to concerns from water intrusion into the vessel, 20,000 gallons of oily bilge water, 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel, as well as 14,000 gallons of miscellaneous oil and oily waste were removed and properly disposed of.
“This was a complex operation that required a swift and coordinated response to ensure the protection of the public and the environment,” said Capt. Mark McDonnell, the Coast Guard Federal on Scene Coordinator. “I would like to thank our excellent partners at the Washington Department of Ecology and Department of Natural Resources, EPA, City of Tacoma, and the Puyallup Tribe for their incredible support which resulted in this successful operation.”
The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) assumed emergency custody of the Pacific Producer and hired a contractor to stabilize the vessel and eliminate water intrusion. DNR and Coast Guard crews from Sector Puget Sound will remain in communication over any proposed plan of action for disposition of the vessel.
For further questions on this incident, contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 206-251-3237.