Minor oil spills at Bellingham have plagued construction of an oil spill containment barge needed for Shell Oil to drill exploratory wells in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska.
The Washington Ecology Department says hydraulic systems leaked on July 24, Aug. 4 and Aug. 6, each releasing about a quart of oil into Whatcom Waterway. The department sent a notice of violation to Superior Energy Services, which is building the Arctic Challenger.
Ecology spokeswoman Katie Skipper told The Bellingham Herald the spills could be the result of crews working in haste.
Shell is waiting on the barge to start drilling. The barge will carry a dome-shape containment system that could be lowered onto a leaking well to funnel oil and gas to a barge.
- Large projects can often be contentious, and two of the most debated state projects in the past few years have been the Knik Arm Crossing and the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.
- Gov. Bill Walker announced an additional $10 million cut to the University of Alaska.
- The largest share of that cut is to the account the state uses to partially reimburse local governments for school bonds.
- Inmates will be moved to other corrections centers and halfway houses or possibly put on ankle monitoring, depending on the situation.