March 19, 2011
The Washington State Department of Ecology inspected Washington Columbia River beaches where previous spills in the area have historically deposited oil and no oil was discovered.
Fishermen, boaters and beachcombers on the Columbia River are asked to keep an eye out for oil impacts. If oil is observed on beaches or on the water, please notify officials by calling 1-800-OILS-911.
March 18, 2011
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is monitoring a fuel spill in Portland near the area where the Columbia and Willamette rivers meet.
The spill reportedly occurred during fueling operations between the 590-foot bulk carrier vessel Transcenden Time and a fuel barge.
Ecology spill responders are checking for possible impacts to Washington’s side of the river by boat and by air.
More information about the incident will be provided as soon as it becomes available.
Ecology back on water Saturday to check for oil spill impacts
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) will be back on the water Saturday morning to track the flow of oil spilled from a large cargo vessel near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers today.
Ecology’s spill responders will be on the Washington side of the Columbia River, looking for impacts to fish, wildlife or evidence of oil on the shorelines that needs to be cleaned up.
An undetermined amount of oil spilled during fueling operations between the 590-foot Transcenden Time and a fueling barge around 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Once the black oil began to spill on to the deck and over the side of the vessel, workers quickly closed the valves.
In Washington, vessels conducting over-the-water fuel transfers are required to have boom in place to contain any spilled oil. Oregon doesn’t require such safety measures.
Ecology spill responders took to the air and water Friday to monitor the extent of the oil sheen and check for impacts in Washington’s waters and shorelines. They found sheen in the Columbia River, taking samples to confirm it came from the cargo vessel. They also noted heavier sheening and shoreline impacts on the Willamette.
The cause of the spill is under investigation as is the total amount of oil spilled.