A 300 gallon oil spill at Ice Harbor Dam is being blamed on human error according to the Army Corps of Engineers. About 100 gallons of that oil made it into the Snake River.
WALLA WALLA COUNTY, WA - A 300 gallon oil spill at Ice Harbor Dam is being blamed on human error according to the Army Corps of Engineers. About 100 gallons of that oil made it into the Snake River.
According to their local spokesperson, workers first noticed a valve that had not been properly closed was spilling the oil inside the dam facility. The workers immediately started cleaning up the mess with absorbent pads.
200 gallons were cleaned, but some oil made it's way into the turbines. At that point, over the course of about 4 days, 100 gallons of the oil were released and dispersed into the water. A noticeable film could be seen at first on the top of the river near the dam. The corps, which monitors how their dams affect the local ecology, explains the amount of oil was not enough to harm fish, wildlife or humans.
"We do respond immediately and this was an inadvertent spill, just like other spills. We're doing our very best to prevent it from happening in the first place and to prevent it from happening again in this way," said Spokesperson Bruce Henrickson.
The Corps of Engineers explains this is not the first spill in recent years. Back in 2012 about 40 gallons were spilled into the river at Ice Harbor. That incident was also considered human error.