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February 1, 2024

Update #17 on Olympic Pipeline Gasoline Spill

Please see the most recent statement below from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State Department of Ecology, and bp America regarding the Olympic pipeline gasoline spill on Highway 534 in Conway. Skagit County Department of Emergency Management is on site to support the response efforts.
The Unified Command leading the response to the discharge of gasoline from a vault associated with the Olympic Pipeline in Conway, Washington, has the following updates on the progress of cleanup efforts.

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Planned Full Closure of SR-534

Saturday, February 3, 2024
9:00 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m.
All lanes of State Route 534 near Conway Hill Road will close for approximately four hours to allow for delivery, offload, and assembly of the crane required to install a sheet pile wall. Local access will be permitted for Conway Hill residents and residents nearest to the site. 

Through traffic will detour using Cedardale Road, Starbird Road, and Bulson Road. 

REMINDER: Community meetings

The Unified Command will host two community meetings for the public to learn more about the gasoline spill, the status of the cleanup, air monitoring, water quality monitoring, wildlife impacts, and the plans and timeline for removing the remaining impacted soil and sediment.

In-person open house
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Conway School Cafeteria, 19710 State Route 534, Mount Vernon, WA
The public is invited to drop in anytime during meeting hours. There will be no formal presentation. Experts from the Unified Command will be available to discuss the spill response and answer questions.

Online webinar on Zoom
Wednesday, Feb. 7, 6 p.m.
Register on Zoom

Experts from the Unified Command will give a presentation on the spill response, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Invitamos a la comunidad a aprender más sobre la respuesta al derrame de gasolina en Conway. Se ofrecerá interpretación en español durante los eventos. To request interpretation services, please email the Ecology liaison officer at liaison@ecy.wa.gov or call 360-790-7410.

Temporary sheet pile wall installation

Installation of the sheet pile wall is expected to begin next week. To prepare for installation:

  • Nets will be placed in Hill Ditch north of the SR 534 bridge and upstream of the pipeline crossing to exclude fish from the area during installation of the sheet pile wall. Fish exclusion work is expected to begin early next week.
  • Boom will be removed from Hill Ditch north of the SR 534 bridge during fish exclusion and installation of the sheet pile wall. The temporary wall will provide better protection from potential gasoline discharges during soil excavation. All existing boom will remain in place in Hill Ditch south of the SR 534 bridge.
  • Turbidity curtains will be placed in Hill Ditch north of the SR 534 bridge and south of the wall location to help prevent large volumes of silt from flowing downstream during wall installation and soil excavation.

Pile driving operations are expected to last approximately two weeks. The pile driving system will operate during daylight hours. Residents may notice elevated construction noise and vibration in the immediate area. Vibration and noise monitoring will be in place along the Hill Ditch dike, and along the pipeline.

Biological sheens

  • Natural processes like bacteria or decomposition can create sheens on water that look similar to sheens caused by oil pollution. Learn more about biological sheens.
  • Regardless of cause, the Unified Command asks members of the community and public to continue reporting sheens in Hill Ditch by emailing Liaison@ecy.wa.gov.

Updated photos

Aerial photos of January progress are available on Ecology’s Flickr site.

General information

Air monitoring conducted under the direction of the Unified Command continues to indicate no public health risk from gasoline fumes. Community air monitoring will continue during work hours when impacted soil is being removed.

Sampling downstream of the spill site continues and no exceedances of environmental or health-based screening values for hydrocarbons have been reported at any location since December 22, 2023.

Members of the public who come upon injured or deceased wildlife are asked not to touch or relocate affected wildlife and to call 1-800-22BIRDS.

A claims center has been established by the Olympic Pipeline. Please call 1-866-616-1558 to report any personal or property damages resulting from the spill.

The Unified Command consists of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington Department of Ecology, the Skagit County Department of Emergency Management, bp, and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

Status updates are posted on Ecology’s website at ecology.wa.gov/OlympicPipelineSpill.

Photos and videos are available on Ecology’s Flickr and YouTube sites. For further information on this incident, contact:
Scarlet Tang/Ecology: 206-920-2600
Jenn Rogers/Skagit County: 360-630-6604
Pam Brady/bp: 713-903-9729
Bill Dunbar/EPA: 206-245-7452