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$18,000 penalty for diesel spill after fishing boat sinks

In August 2022, a 58-foot fishing boat sank off the western shore of San Juan Island, kicking off a complex, lengthy response to prevent additional diesel from spilling out of the sunken vessel, and to eventually raise the boat back to the surface.

Now, the Washington Department of Ecology is penalizing Matthew Johnston, the boat's owner, $18,000 for the spilled diesel.

Johnston actively participated in cleanup efforts and fully cooperated with Ecology's investigation, the agency said in a news release. This penalty is based on strict liability under Washington State law for spills to Washingt...


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