Cleanup crews remain hard at work more than a month after oil spilled at the former Olympia Brewery and leached into nearby Deschutes River and Capitol Lake. Crews are actively trying to remove oil that’s coated vegetation along the river and lake.
Given the nature and visibility of the cleanup work, the Department of Ecology has scheduled a public meeting on April 18, and is inviting the community to learn more about the response.
The free event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Olympia Center, 222 Columbia St. NW, in Olympia.
People and organizations who own property along the lake are especially encouraged to attend. Ecology has contacted waterfront owners to request access for cleanup work along private shorelines.
The spill originated from a large electrical transformer at the former Olympia Brewery. Oil ran into stormwater drains and discharged into Tumwater Falls Park and the Deschutes River. Some of the oil that reached Capitol Lake became enmeshed in shoreline vegetation. It is unknown how much oil spilled. The transformer had a capacity of 677 gallons.
The oil contained a low concentration of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) that does not pose an immediate risk to human health and safety. PCBs released into water bodies can accumulate in the aquatic food web and reach harmful levels in fish.
Regular updates about the spill response are found on Ecology’s website
and on Twitter @ecysw