Trident fuel spill fines halved
The Washington Department of Ecology (WDE) on Friday announced Trident Seafoods will pay penalties for four vessel spills of diesel fuel in 2007 and 2008. The Seattle-based company will pay USD 34,000 (EUR 24,095) to settle a total of USD 68,000 (EUR 48,200) in fines.
The agency agreed to suspend the remaining USD 34,000 (EUR 24,095) in recognition of significant improvements in the company's environmental compliance program. Trident must also avoid any oil spills of 25 gallons or larger during the next three years. Under the agreement, if the company has an incident it will pay the remaining half of the full penalty amount on top of any new fines imposed for another spill.
"I'm pleased with this approach. Trident could have just paid the fine and made a verbal pledge to do better," said Dale Jensen, WDE's spills program manager. "Instead, the company is taking on a financial challenge to implement changes to better protect Puget Sound. This is a model other companies who get penalties for spilling ought to consider."
Trident's safety and spill-prevention efforts for its 42-vessel fleet include placing an oil barrier boom around all vessels moored in Washington, conducting weekly checks of vessel fuel and hydraulic systems and annual reviews of company oil-transfer procedures, putting permanent containment on as many fuel tank vents as possible, and minimizing the length of hydraulic hoses exposed to weather on its vessels' decks.
Trident will make its settlement payment within 30 days.