Coast Guard oversees removal of nearly 3,000 gallons of oily water from barge at Goble

Samples of an oily water mixture and ballast water are taken from the vessel Amazon, a 1940's era 170-foot crane barge, during a preemptive oil spill response to remove 2,900 gallons of oily water from the barge located on the banks of the Columbia River near Goble, Ore., May 12, 2017.During an assessment of the vessel a large volume of oily water was seen in the bilges and with the vessel being in poor material condition the decision was made to preemptively cleanup the barge before an oil discharge happened.U.S. Coast Guard courtesy of Marine Environmental Portland.

WARRENTON, Ore. – The U.S. Coast Guard oversaw the removal of nearly 3,000 gallons of oily water this weekend on the banks of the Columbia River near Goble.

The oil came from the bilges of a 170-foot crane barge from the 1940s.

Coast Guard took measures to remove the oil to prevent possible environmental damage to the Columbia River. The site is currently being monitored by the Coast Guard and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and State Lands during the lease termination process at the site.

Personnel from the Coast Guard’s Columbia River Incident Management Division used the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to remove the oily water after the Coast Guard Pacific Strike team recommended it during a site assessment on May 9 and 10.

Friday, National Response Coordination Environmental Services pumped out 1,800 gallons of the oily water. Then, they pumped out another 1,100 gallons Saturday.

“The initial purpose of our site visit was to assess the need for future operations, however, it was quickly determined the Amazon posed a substantial threat of an oil discharge and required immediate action,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Madjeska, chief, Incident Management Division Sector Columbia River. “The vessel is in very poor material condition, and is slowly taking on water through open hatches.”

There are also safety concerns about expose asbestos onboard the vessel.

The barge is one of 26 vessels currently being assessed and monitored while Clay Jonak and Roger Ison, who lease the site, are being evicted. They have until May 30 to safely remove their property from the site.

The Coast Guard will oversee any future cleanup.

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