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Shell practices spill response in Fidalgo Bay

ANACORTES — Several boats carrying crews clad in neon orange Tuesday morning dropped mustard-yellow buoy lines in Fidalgo Bay north of the trestle of the Tommy Thompson Trail.

The activity was part of a Shell Puget Sound Refinery oil spill response drill. The exercise involved about 40 refinery employees and contractors, several watercraft and 2,300 feet of booms.

The refinery said in an email the boom deployment training was one of nine priority strategies the state Department of Ecology identified for the Shell and Tesoro refineries on March Point.

Ecology receives about 4,000 reports of oil spills each year, according to the agency’s oilspills.101.wa.gov website.

Spilled oil has three main environmental impacts: acute toxicity that can poison plants and animals; mechanical injury such as coating and smothering animals; and the persistence of lasting up to 10 years in the environment.

Booms are one of several types of equipment that can be used in response to a spill. They are floating barriers that help keep the oil contained.

Shell’s training activity Tuesday did not involve an actual spill.

For more information, contact the Shell Puget Sound Refinery’s Community Information Hotline at 360-293-1797.

In related news, Shell certified as environmentally conscious driller.

This article was written by Kimberly Cauvel from Skagit Valley Herald, Mount Vernon, Wash. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.