Company Indicted for 1999 Washington State Pipeline Rupture
Olympic Pipe Line Company, Inc., Renton, WA, was indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle, WA on charges of violating the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act stemming from the June 10, 1999 rupture of the pipeline that resulted in three deaths. Olympic operates a 400-mile petroleum pipeline that transports gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel from refineries to distribution facilities throughout western Washington and Portland, OR. As a result of the rupture, 236,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline were released into the Hannah Creek and Whatcom Creek, tributaries to Bellingham Bay and Puget Sound. Two 10-year old boys and a young man died as a result of the release of gasoline and subsequent fire. Also named in the indictment were Equilon Pipeline Company, LLC, which was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the pipeline; Frank Hopf, Jr. former Olympic vice president; Ronald D. Brentson, the company’s supervisor of products movement; and Kevin S. Dyvig, the operations controller for Olympic, who is responsible for monitoring and controlling the movement of petroleum products through the pipeline. This is the first time individuals or corporations have been charged criminally for violations of the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Safety Act.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the government, all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.