News Releases

Potential oil spill initiates spill prevention protocol

Published March 28, 2018

Portland, Ore. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has initiated spill prevention protocols today due to the loss of approximately 470 gallons of oil from one of the generating units at The Dalles Dam.

The Corps is in the process of determining what happened to the oil. Although there is no evidence the oil went into the Columbia River, the Corps will continue to monitor the waters downstream of the dam.

The Corps is dedicated to rapid spill responses and has notified the National Response Center, Oregon and Washington emergency management offices and the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission.
Initially, the generating unit sent an indication of low oil to the control room on March 18. A power plant mechanic inspected the unit and added oil to it. Because of the low oil notification and as a precautionary measure, Corps staff began monitoring the Columbia River on March 19 for any evidence of oil.

On March 22, the oil level in the unit appeared to be lower, and as a result, workers removed it from service. On March 23, Corps workers isolated the unit from the river with bulkheads and began de-watering it. The next day, workers inspected the tube and did not observe any oil sheens.

Tom Conning

Release no. 18-021

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