Monday, October 4, 2004
THE DALLES — A sheen from an oil spill at The Dalles Dam was visible from Hood River bridge Friday morning.
Approximately 75 gallons of transformer oil, out of 200 spilled, entered the Columbia River. The oil, believed to contain toxic PCBs, spilled upstream of The Dalles Dam Thursday morning.
Greg deBruler of Columbia Riverkeeper said his group started monitoring and sampling Friday afternoon with the Columbia River Intertribal Fishery Commission. DeBruler said the oil contains between 5 and 10 parts per million PCBs.
Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon and Washington departments of Ecology have responded, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife report.
Bonneville Dam was notified, and the Corps is also working with state health departments.
“We are focusing our efforts on containing the spill upstream,” said Matt Rabe, spokesman for the Corps of Engineers, which operates the dam.
Rabe said the spill happened after a transformer seal was damaged by the extreme weather, spilling 200-300 gallons of oil into the powerhouse. It was discovered at 8 a.m. Thursday; the Corps notified the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center.
DeBruler said his organization was concerned about the lack of recovery efforts downstream of the dam, considering PCBs’ immediate and long-term impacts on fish and invertebrate wildlife.
Foss Environmental is cleaning up the main slick, Rabe said.
“They’re working diligently to try to get it removed so we don’t have a continual stream downstream,” he said.
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I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge