Northwest NEWS

October 26, 1998


Olympic Pipeline has not operated safely in this state

   I would like to address some statements from Jack Jakubiec of Mill Creek in the Oct. 12 edition of the Woodinville Weekly.
   First, the statement that this project will generate employment is not accurate.
   Olympic Pipeline states that 70% of the workforce will be from out of our state.
   Second, Olympic Pipeline has not operated safely in the State of Washington. In the period from 1966 to 1996, the pipeline from Anacortes to Portland leaked 44 times totaling more than 500,000 gallons of fuel. In the first half of 1996 the Department of Ecology fined this company $13,500 for two different oil spills to surface water.
   A small leak at the Maplewood community in Renton, went undetected for about nine months. Finally it was detected in the Cedar River 1500 feet from the original leak and amounted to 84,000 gallons. This community is still having problems.
   Third, the Pipeline would not eliminate 1800 tanker trips a day. The tankers make up only 1% of the traffic over Snoqualmie Pass on I-90. Even with the pipeline, OPL would generate 150 total trips a day. Where did the 1800 trip information come from?
   I do not believe there is less harm to the environment if an accident happens. On the water or on the highway, a spill would be evident immediately and clean up could begin.
   Whereas a leak like Maplewood could cause a great deal of harm. Luckily the two aquifers that supply Renton's water remain uncontaminated for the time being.
   My concern is that if a leak should occur in an aquifer, it could not be cleaned out, and a precious water supply would be lost. Washington State has lots of rain, slides and flooding which could affect a pipeline and cause leaks. We do not need this hazard to our environment.
   Jessie Crim, Snohomish