Pacific Fire Fuel Spill Cleanup Enters Into Monitoring Phase

ODFW sets up hotline for people to call if they encounter oiled wildlife along Bear Creek

A Boom will stay in place along Bear Creek for the next few weeks at least, but crews have completed most of the cleanup of petroleum products released into the water from the April 12 fire at the Pacific Pride Commercial Fuel Station in Medford.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and NEXGEN Logistics LLC will continue to monitor Bear Creek, responding as needed. A light intermittent sheen is present on the creek and is expected to persist for some time, but cleanup crews have collected and disposed of most of the recoverable oil in and around the creek that flows through Medford and into the Rogue River. Boom, or floating barriers, corrals petroleum in water so that crews can remove it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency helped guide the emergency response to the Medford Fuel Depot Release earlier this month and has demobilized.

More than 20,000 gallons of various petroleum products – primarily lube oil – were released during the fire along South Central Avenue. DEQ and the company do not have an estimate as to how much product entered Bear Creek through stormwater systems and how much the fire consumed. DEQ’s ongoing monitoring includes regular reconnaissance for oil accumulations and sampling of the Rogue River. Bear Creek enters the Rogue about 10 miles downstream from the site of the release. Daily water sampling in Bear Creek continues to show a declining trend of dissolved oil in the creek.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will continue to watch for wildlife affected by the petroleum release. ODFW advises the public not to approach or pick-up any oiled wildlife and instead notify trained wildlife rehabilitation experts at 541-857-2407 . International Bird Rescue helped care for some oiled Canada geese and mallard ducks over the past week.

NEXGEN operates the Pacific Pride fuel depot in Medford that burned and is funding the significant response to the incident, including all wildlife rescue and recovery efforts.

Courtesy of the State of Oregon