Tar balls discovered near barge Davy Crockett

Tar balls from the double-bottom tank of the barge Davy Crockett.

Tar balls from the double-bottom tank of the barge Davy Crockett.

PORTLAND, Ore – The Unified Command in charge of operations involving the barge Davy Crockett has discovered tar balls in the vicinity of the vessel near Camas, Wash.

Members of the State of Washington Department of Ecology and Coast Guard collected approximately 25 tar balls from below the I-205 bridge for testing Tuesday and Wednesday.

The tar balls are small, dark, sticky globs ranging in size from half an inch to 3 inches in diameter and do not appear to produce a sheen when disturbed. Tests have shown the tar balls do not contain PCBs or heavy metal contamination. It has been determined the tar balls were likely loosened and escaped into the river due to cleanup operations aboard the Davy Crockett.

“We are making every effort to keep the tar balls from escaping the containment around the vessel,” said Jim Sachet, supervisor of Washington’s Spill Response Team. “The vessel is surrounded with sorbent boom and hard boom, and topside crews are collecting the small amounts of oil that appear in the areas above where divers are working.”

Members of the public who discover what they believe to be tar balls down river of the response operations should contact the National Response Center hotline at 1-800-424-8802.

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