Department of Ecology News Release - March 2, 2015

Oil tank fails, spilling oil to Yakima River

YAKIMA – An above-ground storage tank near Sunnyside failed on Sunday, March 1, sending as much as 1,500 gallons of used motor oil into Sulphur Creek and the Yakima River. The spill created a sheen seen as far south as Prosser.

Department of Ecology spill responders Sunday afternoon deployed absorbent pads and protective boom at multiple locations, including about 900 feet upstream from the mouth of Sulphur Creek and at a fish hatchery on the Yakima River in Prosser.

The environmental cleanup company NRC has been hired by Ecology and is using vacuum trucks to remove the remaining oil. Local, state and tribal officials are jointly responding to the incident.

The cause of the failure of the tank, which occurred at a former feed lot property, is still under investigation.

Sulphur Creek is used as an irrigation return drain by the Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District.

Information will be updated at Ecology’s website on the incident.

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Contact:

Joye Redfield-Wilder, communications, 509-575-2610; @ecyCentral