June 3, 2009
Material Released: Up to 1,000 gallons of chemicals mixed with fire suppression foam and water was discharged to drainage ditches and Dilly Twig Creek. The chemicals are used as a glue for wood products manufactured at the facility. The chemicals are toxic and fire fighting foam lowers dissolved oxygen levels in the water.
Environmental Impacts: Ecology and Fish & Wildlife representatives assessed the creek and nearby Dillenbaugh Creek to check for harm to water, wildlife and fish. The initial assessment found low levels of dissolved oxygen and at least two dead stickleback fish. Because creek visibility was limited by vegetation and foam, it was difficult to determine if many more fish might also have died or be in distress. Water sample were collected.
Response Actions: An environmental cleanup contractor hired by the company collected 160,000 gallons of water containing chemicals and firefighting foam. The wastewater is being discharged to the Chehalis Wastewater Plant for proper treatment. In addition, several aerators were placed in Dilly Twig creek and operated 24 hours a day for four days to help break-down remaining chemicals and to improve dissolved oxygen levels.
After the waste water was pumped into temporary storage tanks, soil in several sections of ditches near the facility were found to contain elevated levels of chemical. The contaminated soil will be excavated and properly disposed of.