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Second Leak from Dredge in Storm Lake

  • 3/17/2016 9:09:00 AM
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STORM LAKE – Responding to a new complaint about an oil sheen on the east side of the Storm Lake marina, the DNR and multiple Storm Lake staff and officials investigated to find the source of the oil Thursday morning.

They found what appeared to be a water spigot on the outside of the dredge cabin that was dripping oil. By shutting down a valve inside the cabin, they stopped the leak.

Some of the oil escaped booms set around the dredge a week ago to contain a previous leak. Staff used sphagnum moss to absorb the oil.

“We really appreciate citizen reports, because we can’t be everywhere,” said Julie Sievers, DNR environmental specialist at the site. “Because of the prompt response today and the small amount released, it’s not likely to cause environmental damage.”

Although the hydraulic oil leaked is vegetable-based, it still pulls oxygen out of the water as it decomposes. Larger amounts can cause oxygen levels to drop affecting fish and other aquatic animals.

The city of Storm Lake’s Public Works Department, the fire chief, public safety director and city manager responded to the leak today.

The DNR will continue to monitor cleanup activities. The DNR sent a notice of violation to the city last week asking for the city to update their emergency spill response plan.

Sievers encouraged anyone who notices a spill or fish kill to call the DNR’s 24-hour emergency response line at 515-725-8694. “If you report a spill on that line, a DNR field specialist is always available to respond,” she said.