Arco Raises Estimate of Crude Spilled By 50 Percent
PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) _ About 50 percent more oil was dumped in waters near the Pacific than first estimated after a tanker ran aground last week and patches of oil have spread to more beaches, officials said Friday.
The ARCO Anchorage spilled about 189,000 gallons of Alaskan crude oil into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which links Puget Sound with the Pacific, Atlantic Richfield Co. officials said. Earlier estimates placed the amount at 123,900 gallons.
Clallam County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Borte reported Friday that oil had washed ashore as far as Agate Point, 15 miles west of here. Previously, beaches were known to be contaminated only at Port Angeles and to the east.
Patches of oil have also been spotted 25 miles west of Port Angeles, compared to 15 miles before, Borte said.
Several boats equipped with vacuums were being used on the spill, and more than 2,300 barrels had been collected, Coast Guard and Arco officials said.
A pair of 2- by 8-foot gashes in the tanker’s hull were patched with epoxy, and the ship was moved Thursday to Cherry Point, near Bellingham, for unloading and further repairs.
Officials say 460 of the 1,360 oil-covered birds brought into a rescue center at a local high school have died. Nineteen have been released. About 800 oily birds remain in the water, Borte said.
As costs of the cleanup escalate, Clallam County officials said they were considering asking the state to declare the region an economic disaster area, action that would place the job under state management. The county said it already has spent more than $4,000 on the cleanup.
Arco, which has claimed financial responsiblity for the incident and estimates its costs could exceed $1 million, has indicated it will reimburse the county for its costs, Ms. Duncan said.