Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Multiple Agencies Converge to Clean Up Long Abandoned 70 Drums of Oil in Westport


The following is a Facebook post published on the page of Mendocino County Environmental Health:

Barrels of oil leaving into the top soil [Pictures provided by Mendocino County Public Health]

Last week, Mendocino County Environmental Health facilitated a clean-up of old abandoned Hazardous Waste Drums on the coast. The drums, about 70 of them, were dumped illegally on the Westport property many years ago, but were hidden by overgrown blackberry bushes until being discovered again recently.

The drums contained a thick black oil and tar that had leaked out of the rusted cracked drums and contaminated the soil around the drums, killing some wildlife in the process. Environmental Health, together with California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Redwood Empire Hazardous Incident Team, Westport Volunteer Fire Department and the United States Environmental Protection Agency came up with a plan for cleanup of the area. Thankfully, due to the heavy thickness of the oil, much of the contamination remained around the base of the drums and was easily removed and hauled away with preventing any long term environmental damage.

The multi-day cleanup was finished last week and is estimated to cost over $100,000. The cost of the cleanup will be paid for by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which is administered by the United States Coast Guard.
Mendocino County would like to thank Westport Volunteer Fire Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Quality Management, Patriot Environmental Services, Broadbent and Clean Harbors for their assistance with this challenging cleanup.

If you see hazardous material dumping or releasing that may lead to an immediate threat to human health or the environment call 9-1-1. To report other hazardous material releases call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. To get in touch with Environmental Health call us at 707-234-6625 or visit our website for more information at http://www.mendocinocounty.org/eh


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced largely by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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