Pipeline penalties to fund watershed improvements
People, salmon and wildlife will benefit from an innovative settlement between the state Department of Ecology (DOE) and Shell Oil Company (Shell) for the 1999 pipeline rupture and fire in Bellingham.
The settlement addresses $5 million of $7.86 million in civil penalties issued by Ecology to Shell�s predecessor, Equilon, which operated the pipeline at the time of the incident that killed three Bellingham youths and damaged much of the Whatcom Creek watershed. As an owner/operator of the pipeline, Shell will pay $4 million to the city of Bellingham and $1 million to the Whatcom Land Trust in lump-sum payments expected by the end of the month. British Petroleum is the other owner of the Olympic pipeline.