Agencies prepare to remove leaking barge from Deep River
December 9, 2021
The Oneida Road boat ramp has closed to the public in an initial step to remove an old barge leaking oil into Deep River.
The state Department of Ecology learned Nov. 4 that oil was covering vegetation along Deep River and determined it originated from a small abandoned barge. Further investigation revealed that the barge contains about 1,600 gallons of heavy black oil, some of which has sunk into sediment below the barge, which has holes in the hull.
David Prater, Ecology project liaison, said Tuesday that divers have attempted to patch holes in the hull and also have wrapped the barge in plastic to prevent further leaking.
A cradle is being constructed hold the barge together so that it can be moved to the Oneida Road boat launching ramp. There it will be moved to dry land and the rest of the oil removed.
The boat ramp was to be closed yesterday (Wednesday), Prater said, with work starting next week and finishing by the end of December.
Ecology will perform an assessment to identify the extent of submerged oil contamination, Prater said.
The barge has been moored along Waranka Road for many years, and the owner is unknown, Prater said.
Agencies participating in the response include Ecology, US Coast Guard, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources, and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality