Oil Clean Up on North Raccoon River Mostly Completed
JEFFERSON – The cleanup of an oil spill on the North Raccoon River has mostly been completed, however some containment booms will remain in place as a precaution to contain any remaining oil from moving downstream.
“If we get rain or snowmelt, we could still see some small amounts of oil seeping into the river. The booms will be left in place to capture it and prevent it from moving down stream,” said Alison Manz, an environmental specialist for the DNR.
Manz said the booms, located at the Trestle Bike Trail, near the Highway 4 bridge and near a greenhouse in Jefferson where the spill originated, will be checked by the DNR and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency periodically.
“We would ask the public not to disturb the booms because they are important as a precaution in preventing any residual oil from moving downstream,” said Manz.
Containment booms are used to control the spread of oil to reduce the possibility of polluting shorelines and other resources, as well as to concentrate oil in thicker surface layers, making recovery easier.
Manz said there is still a visible sheen in small pockets of oil along river shorelines. Most of the oil that had been on sandbars and along shorelines has been removed. There will be some areas where oil will be left in place to naturally break down because further removal work would cause more damage to the environment than leaving the oil in place.
Approximately 10 to 15 miles of the North Raccoon River downstream from Jefferson was affected when a valve on an above ground storage tank with used oil malfunctioned earlier this month at Krieger’s Greenhouse in Jefferson. The DNR worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies to clean up the affected part of the river.