Corps Cited for Spills on Rivers

Tuesday, May 18, 2004
More than 33 oil spills from nine dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers have prompted the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) to take enforcement action against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ecology issued a notice of violation today that lists the state oil spill and clean-water laws that have been violated. It also cites the Corps for insufficiently training and preparing staff to respond to oil spills, and it describes the potential that exists for further spills from the nine hydropower dams the Corps operates on the river system.

Spills were reported for the following dams from 1999 to 2004: Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, Chief Joseph, McNary, Lower Monumental, Ice Harbor, Little Goose and Lower Granite. The oil came from equipment in the dams, such as turbines, lubricating and hydraulic systems, and transformers.

According to the notice of violation, the dams pose a substantial risk to pollute the rivers because of the Corps' inability to detect leaks, drains from secondary containments that lead directly to the river, and staffing levels that at times limit the ability of operators to be vigilant in detecting oil leaks.

In addition, Ecology is concerned about the inadequate staging of spill response equipment and how the Corps accounts for the amount of oil currently stored.

The Corps has recently accepted an offer from Ecology to assist with spill-response planning and preparedness.

"We are pleased that the Corps has agreed to obtain training in the incident command system and to modify its emergency response plans," said Dale Jensen, who manages Ecology's spills program. "We are willing to work with the Corps to design drills that address the potential situations faced at the dams and in these particular rivers."

Jensen stressed that preventing spills in the first place is extremely important. In addition, spill-response training is necessary for all operation and maintenance crews, and response equipment needs to be readily available.

"Oregon shares Washington's concerns about the Corps' operations on the Columbia, and we have additional concerns about Corps dams located in Oregon," said Chuck Donaldson, who manages the emergency response program at the Department of Environmental Quality. "Like Washington, Oregon may have to examine other methods to ensure compliance with state and federal laws."

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Autonomous Technology for Offshore Wind Farm

ASV Ltd in association with Planet Ocean Ltd, have received funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind initiative to investigate how the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles

Hurricane Gonzalo Knocks out Bermuda Power

Power was knocked out to 80 percent of Bermuda's electricity grid due to Hurricane Gonzalo, the island's only power company, Bermuda Electric Light Co., said on Friday evening.

Can Oil & Gas Superpower Lead on Climate Change?

A day before President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations to declare the nation is "stepping up to the plate" to tackle climate change, nearly 400,000

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.5006 sec (2 req/sec)