Department of Ecology News Release - December 5, 2012 5PM

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Snake River oil sheen update: no spill source found near Lower Granite Dam

SPOKANE – The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) spill responders were unable to locate an oil sheen or a spill source on the Snake River near Lower Granite Dam in Whitman and Garfield counties.

Ecology responders removed absorbent boom from the water at the dam. The boom did not appear to be collecting oil from the water.

“This potential spill appeared to be a very minor release of unknown origin, but highlights the importance of vigilance and reporting,” said Jeff Lewis, Ecology’s Eastern and Central Region Spill Response Team Supervisor.

Ecology will continue to monitor the situation.

All oil spills cause environmental damage, regardless of size. Oil is toxic to the environment and the damage starts as soon as the oil hits water. A single quart of oil has the potential to foul more than 100,000 gallons of water.

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Media Contact: Brook Beeler, Department of Ecology, media relations; 509-329-3478; cell 509-290-0855.

For more information:

Spills Program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html)

Ecology's social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)