Coast Guard completes phase 1 cleanup of 7 vessels on Columbia River

A contractor from National Response Corporation Environmental Services prepares to remove barrels of hazardous materials from a derelict vessel located at a submerged-land site on the Columbia River near Goble, Ore., June 3, 2017. Personnel from NRCES are acting under the direction of Coast Guard Sector Columbia River to remove hazardous materials from seven vessels during cleanup efforts. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Chief Petty Officer Kevin Ouyoumjian.

A contractor from National Response Corporation Environmental Services prepares to remove barrels of hazardous materials from a derelict vessel located at a submerged-land site on the Columbia River near Goble, Ore., June 3, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Chief Petty Officer Kevin Ouyoumjian.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Coast Guard and its contractor completed the first phase of the cleanup of oil and hazardous materials from vessels at a site on the Columbia River near Goble, Wednesday and signed the site back over to the Oregon Department of State Lands for further cleanup, Friday.

Contractors from the National Response Corporation Environmental Services, under the direction of personnel from the Incident Management Division of Coast Guard Sector Columbia River and the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team, began cleanup operations June 1.

More than 39,000 gallons of oil and oily water were pumped out of the seven vessels that remained on the leased site after the lessees were required to leave the premises by May 31. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) was found in more than 8,000 gallons of that oil. Contractors have also removed 1 ton of hazardous materials including antifreeze, methyl ethyl ketene, paint, animal poisons, solvents and cleaners. There have also been 25 cylinders of propane or acetylene emptied through flaring.

“The cleanup of the site has gone extremely well so far and we look forward to the continued cooperation between state and federal agencies,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Madjeska, acting response chief, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. “There has been a lot of hazardous material removed from the site that will make DSLs future operations safer. Most importantly, everything we removed can no longer threaten the river or its users.”

The site has now been signed over to the Department of State Lands for further cleanup of hazardous substances, such as asbestos, solid waste and removal of the vessels. DSL estimates the work will be completed by November 2017.

“We are very appreciative of the assistance we’ve received from our partners: DEQ and the Coast Guard,” said Lori Warner-Dickason, northern operations manager for the Department of State Lands. “The Coast Guard did an outstanding job of alleviating the immediate threats of pollution to the waterway. Now we’re moving forward to achieve the goal of protecting the public trust values of the Columbia River.

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