Water | Ecotrope

Columbia oil leak update: Mostly contained

Ecotrope | Feb. 1, 2011 2:17 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:41 p.m.

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The Oregonian reports that the derelict barge leaking oil into the Columbia River near Camas, Wash., actually split in half – likely following a scrap operation that may or may not have been authorized. When Coast Guard officials found it, the river was flowing through the barge, which had leaked a 15-mile sheen of oil downstream. As of last night, The O reports, oil booms were containing the leakage:

“Regulators say the Davy Crockett is leaking lubricating oil, fuel oil and some diesel at unknown volumes from an unknown source, with low levels of carcinogenic PCBs potentially in the spill. It’s outside the Columbia’s shipping channel.

At this point booms are containing the leak, the Coast Guard says, with just small patches of sheen seen Monday. The Coast Guard has collected 1,450 gallons of oil and diesel since the spill began from aboard the barge and in oil-absorbent booms surrounding the ship.

An unknown amount of fuel has sunk or floated downstream, though health officials say the spill does not pose an “immediate” risk. A contractor has been hired to test for pollution in river sediment and water, regulators say, after oil samples from the engine room showed low levels of PCBs.”

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