Oil spill responders come to Richland for drill - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oil spill responders come to Richland for drill

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- Plenty of people around Columbia Point Park may have seen large groups of people by the river examining the ground and water, but who are these people ?

They're first responders to an oil spill. They came from across the state working with the Department of Ecology as well as Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources to participate in a drill that will test their response to a possible natural disaster.

These men and women are trained with determining how much oil has been spilled and developing solutions to clean it up and still protect the environment.

"All oil is poisonous to the environment. And we say all spills matter regardless of size. So even a cup of oil in the wrong place at the wrong time can do tremendous amount of damage to fish and wildlife, water quality and that's why we're here today."

The responders used tools such as GPS devices and monitoring equipment that can detect traces of oil and how wide the spill is in the water and along the shore. Wednesday's drill was the second day of a three day exercise.

The first day and the final day Thursday will include additional courses inside a classroom.