The financial fall-out from a warehouse fire in Winlock last August continues with today’s announcement from state Department of Ecology that it will seek reimbursement for its response costs.
Olympic Trading Corp. was storing a variety of grocery items in a 1,500 square-foot warehouse in the north Lewis County town, when a fire erupted, eventually bringing total destruction. Fourteen pallets of vegetable oils were spilled, with some runoff entering a nearby creek. Containment berms constructed soon after the fire allowed collection and removal of 65,500 gallons of contaminated water along with oiled sorbents and contaminated soil.
“This was a devastating event for the owners of Olympic Trading Company and the Winlock community,” said Jim Sachet, spill response manager for Ecology. “Unfortunately, the runoff from the fire impacted about three-and-a-half miles of Olequa Creek.”
After any oil spill response, Ecology is required by state law to follow up with enforcement, including this $30,887 reimbursement for state expenses. It also issued a $1,000 fine for spilling oil into state waters.
Olympic Trading and its insurance coverage have paid more than $200,000 to contracts the response, clean up and demolition of the burned warehouse. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering its own assessment for the value of damages to the environment.