Responders Appear to Have a
by Eric Barker
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said only a fraction of the 290 gallons of light oil spilled at Dworshak Dam this week reached the North Fork of the Clearwater River.
Officials at both the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, which draws water from the North Fork of the Clearwater River, and the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery, which is fed by water taken from the Clearwater River, are monitoring their water supplies. As of Tuesday, they had not identified any problems.
Steve Rodgers, manager of the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery Complex, said since the hatchery lacks a backup system to supply oxygen to the water, officials there have few alternatives in the case of an upstream spill. He said officials can continue to draw water from the river, release the fish or transfer them to another facility. He said since the amount of oil spilled was so small, the decision was easy.
"For us, fish with no water flow in this circumstance is a much more risky proposition than some small effect from a minor oil spill," he said.
Baltrusch said Andritz Hydro is working with state, local and federal environmental and emergency response officials to clean up the spill.
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