Coast Guard oversees removal of 2,900 gallons of oily water from barge at Goble, Ore.

Contractors from the National Response Coordination Environmental Services, outfitted in Level C Hazmat suits, walk the decks of the crane barge Amazon during a preemptive oil spill response as they prepare to remove 2,900 gallons of oily water from the barge located on the banks of the Columbia River near Goble, Ore., May 12, 2017. The barge Amazon is one of 26 vessels currently being assessed and monitored during the eviction process of leaseholders Clay Jonak and Roger Ison. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy Marine Environmental Detachment Portland.

Contractors from the National Response Coordination Environmental Services walk the decks of the crane barge Amazon as they prepare to remove 2,900 gallons of oily water from the barge located on the banks of the Columbia River near Goble, Ore., May 12, U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy Marine Environmental Detachment Portland.

WARRENTON, Ore. – The Coast Guard oversaw the removal of nearly 3,000 gallons of oily water from the bilges of a 1940’s era crane barge during a response this weekend at a leased submerged-land site on the banks of the Columbia River near Goble.

The removal of the oily water from the Amazon, a 170-foot crane barge, was a preemptive measure taken by the Coast Guard to prevent possible environmental damage to the Columbia River at a site currently being monitored by the Coast Guard and the Oregon Departments of Environmental Quality and State Lands during the lease termination process at the site.

Personnel from the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Incident Management Division opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to remove the oily water upon a recommendation from the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team during a site assessment and hazard categorization visit, May 9 and 10.

National Response Coordination Environmental Services contractors pumped out 1,800 gallons of the oily-water mixture, Friday, and another 1,100 gallons, Saturday, from bilges, ballast tanks, fuel tanks, aft and forward spaces, and above and below deck plates.

“The initial purpose of our site visit was to assess the need for future operations, however, it was quickly determined the Amazon posed a substantial threat of an oil discharge and required immediate action,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Madjeska, chief, Incident Management Division Sector Columbia River. “The vessel is in very poor material condition, and is slowly taking on water through open hatches.”

A Captain of the Port Order was issued to the vessel in March of 2017. There are also safety concerns over exposed asbestos onboard.

The barge Amazon is one of 26 vessels currently being assessed and monitored during the eviction process of Clay Jonak and Roger Ison, who lease the site on the Columbia from the Oregon Department of State Lands. The agency informed the two men of the lease termination, March 20, 2017. They have until May 30 to safely remove their property from the site. The Coast Guard will oversee the cleanup of any remaining oil or hazardous material left on site after May 30.

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