Jefferson County agencies practice oil spill response

PORT TOWNSEND – Port of Port Townsend and East Jefferson Fire-Rescue personnel sharpened their oil spill containment skills Thursday.

The port and East Jefferson Fire-Rescue trained 22 people at the Port Townsend Boat Haven marina during a daylong exercise.

Global Diving and Salvage of Seattle, employees of which cleaned up a Sept. 18 spill at the marina’s commercial dock off Washington Street, conducted the training session.

Port officials recently secured a $20,000 state Department of Ecology grant to acquire a second oil spill response trailer, containing 800 feet of booming material, 1,000 feet of absorbent boom and about 1,000 absorbent pads used to sop up oil or chemicals spilled in East Jefferson County waters.

Protective equipment and suits for responders is also included in the equipment.

“This has been a long term plan we have been working with DOE on,” said port Executive Director Larry Crockett, who was one of those trained Thursday.

Referring to the port’s new oil spill response trailer, Crockett said, “We already had a Coast Guard trailer, but this gives us our own trailer, one that is totally our own.”

The new spill response equipment will give the port and Fire-Rescue the ability to contain a wide variety of petroleum, chemical and waste spills, according to Crockett.

“This will increase our response immensely,” he said, adding that the equipment could be also transported and used at the Herb Beck Marina and Industrial Park on Quilcene Bay.

“This gives us total control over our own assets and equipment.”

The equipment, under the port’s agreement with Ecology, would be available to any agencies needing it across the North Olympic Peninsula, said Crockett.

Ken Radon, port marine facilities director, who also trained Thursday, said the Global training was worth about $5,000 to $6,000 to the community.

The grant also paid for the training.

“They are actually putting a lot of these trailers throughout Puget Sound,” said Radon.

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