Deep River derelict barge spill unified command established

Date
Contact

Jasmin Adams, Public Information Officer (Ecology), 360-464-0324

Logos of federal and state agencies

Barge removal operations to begin on Washington River this week 

A Unified Command consisting of federal and state responders has been established to respond to a spill from an abandoned barge on the Deep River in Rosburg, Washington.

A concerned community member alerted Washington Department of Ecology personnel to stranded black oil in the vegetation on the shore next to the derelict barge on Thursday, Nov.4, 2021.

Responders immediately surrounded the barge with hard boom to contain any spilled oil, and crews used plastic sheeting to stop water from entering the hull. Weathered sheen and patches of oil are still being observed within the boomed area and are being collected with absorbent material.

The barge is approximately 15 feet by 40 feet and was reportedly holding nearly 1,600 gallons of a mixture of diesel and lube oil. To date, over 1,500 gallons of oily water waste has been removed from the barge, with an estimated 1,155 gallons of oily sludge remaining.

Map showing where derelict barge location in the Deep River
Location of derelict barge on the Deep River in Rosburg, WA

Pollution responders from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Columbia River, in Warrenton, Oregon and Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) have formed a Unified Command and in coordination with the USCG Salvage Engineering Response Team (SERT), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) will continue to clean-up of the area and remove the barge from the water this month.

To prepare for the barge removal, WDFW will close the Oneida Water Access Area, including the boat launch and parking lot, starting Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. The area will be closed for up to three weeks during removal operations.

Additionally, Unified Command members are coordinating with the WDNR Derelict Vessel Removal Program (DVRP) for assistance with final disposal of the barge. Plans are also being established to clean up impacted debris and vegetation along the shoreline, as well as assess any potential impacts to the sediment from sinking or submerged oil.

A virtual Joint Information Center has been established to disseminate response information. The media is requested to use the phone number listed below for incident response inquiries and interviews:

Jasmin Adams, Public Information Officer, 360-464-0324

A website with incident response information can be found at the following Incident Webpage, @USCGPacificNW, and @ecysw on Twitter. Ecology and the USCG will post periodic tweets to their Twitter accounts to keep the public informed.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.