WA Dept. of Ecology Holds Spill Drill in Richland - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA Dept. of Ecology Holds Spill Drill in Richland

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RICHLAND, Wash. - About 50 environmental emergency responders from the state Department of Ecology suited up in Richland Wednesday for an oil spill drill.

Since last fall, crude oil has been shipped by train through Washington state. While no trains have spilled crude oil here yet, the Department is making sure they're prepared if a spill does happen.

"A big crude oil spill in the Columbia River would be swept downstream quite a ways and we would have to get response equipment out to try to clean up the water the best we can and contain it as best we can and that's very challenging," said Curt Hart, a spokesperson for DOE. 

Crude oil contains some poisonous fumes and all sorts of other toxic chemicals. It also lasts a lot longer in the environment than other petroleum products.