The oil spill occurred after a 350-gallon oil tanker caught fire on October 12 and struck a nearby hurricane.
MILWAUKIE, Ore. Efforts are underway to clean up after 350 gallons of oil have been dumped in Kellogg Creek and Lake Kellogg Milwaukee.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (ODFW) are working to catch the leak and rescue any damaged wildlife. Increased oil reserves – a temporary floating obstacle – and deposits on the lake and the river to capture and retain oil.
A duck covered in oil survived; Another saved duck died. Officials have seen at least half a dozen other wild animals, according to Ray Oy, acting director of Oregon DEQ.
“They have wildlife biologists who are actively working on the lake in collaboration with ODFW,” Hoy said. “When they see them, they try to catch and gather. But the birds fly fast and move, so they are hard to catch.”
The leak was first reported on October 13, a day after a fire broke out at the D&C Motor Company’s service shop in southeast McClowlin Bolevard. A spokesman for the Clamacas Fireworks said a man was seen on camera outside the service shop near the fire. The fire has not been determined but is being investigated by the Clarkas County Sheriff’s Office.
The fire damaged five cars and damaged the oil drum. That oil was washed away in a storm, into a captured pool, and finally to Kellogg Creek.
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“Oil is a pollution, so it contains chemicals that are generally toxic to fish and wildlife. The good thing about oil is that it floats on water. It’s easier to collect than other types of chemicals and pollution.” Hoy said. “We’re adding the lake and the river to this Kellogg Creek, and this will basically create a meeting place. Once we have a meeting point, we can clean and sanitize it.”
“No oil is good,” said Neil Schulman, director of the non-profit North Clamacas Water Council.
He further added that such fluids can be prevented.
“We need to improve our rainwater infrastructure. There are more people in the area than ever before. That means a lot more buildings, a lot of cars on the road. There’s a lot more chance of flooding, both big and small,” Schulman said.
According to Hoy, DEQ must complete the leak within a few days.