Portage River Basin Council Meeting – Report on Oil Spill
Initial reports to the U.S. EPA of an oil spill in the Portage River watershed February 18, 2009 indicated a 40- to 50-barrel spill. Within hours, the estimate was raised to 600 barrels and the final estimate from the facility is 1650 barrels of crude oil lost. At the July meeting of the Portage River Basin Council, Tricia Edwards of the U.S. EPA described emergency actions taken to contain the spill that affected the Middle Branch of the Portage River at Cygnet. Rain, snow, and high winds made containment difficult. Booms and skirts which normally would trap oil on the top of the water were less effective because of the speed of the current. A total of 15 booms and four underflow dams were deployed, as far as 15.7 miles from the initial break. After an emergency period that lasted several weeks, 782 barrels of crude oil were recovered and soil remediation actions are ongoing. The U.S. EPA described the quick reaction of the Mid-Valley pipeline managed by Sunoco as aggressive and effective, with good communication with the EPA. A report by the U.S. and Ohio EPA offices is posted on www.tmacog.org/Environment/Mid_Valley_Pipeline_Oil_
Following the presentation by the EPA, members of the Portage River Basin Council toured facilities at the
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Doug Brewer, manager of the refuge, explained how modifying the water levels in different units of the 9,000-acre refuge provides habitat for a variety of migrating waterfowl.
Ottawa refuge tour
Doug Brewer, of U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Manager of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, describes habitat maintenance including management of invasive species.
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