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Oklahoma ES Responds to Oil Spill on Sequoyah NWR
Southwest Region, April 2, 2007
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On April 2, 2007 the Oklahoma ES Field Office was notified of a potential oil spill on the Sequoyah NWR.  Mr. Jeff Haas, Refuge Manager, contacted Ms. Suzanne Dudding, Assistant Contaminants Specialist, to provide information about an  oil sheen on Dirty Creek (a tributary to Kerr Lake).  Ms. Dudding contacted EPA Region 6 and the National Response Center (NRC) to report the spill.  Through notification from the NRC, the Coast Guard, Ft. Smith, AR office, contacted Ms. Dudding to inquire about the spill and aide in response.

Ms. Dudding and Ms. Dana Constantine met refuge personnel (Mr. Haas and Mr. Jeff Sanchez) to investigate the cause of the spill.  It was determined the oil sheen was caused by diesel fuel leaking from a water pump motor. The soil under the motor was heavily saturated with fuel/oil, indicating a perpetual contaminant problem. It was determined by Ms. Dudding and Mr. Haas that booms were needed to control the movement of the sheen. The Coast Guard offered to provide and deploy the booms with the assistance of Mr. Sanchez.  Refuge personnel contacted the local Army Corps of Engineers office and the County Clerks office to determine the responsible party (RP) in order to stop the release.

The Coast Guard and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) discussed clean-up options with the RP on April 3, 2007.  The RP volunteered to fix the leak and to remove the contaminated soil around the pump.  The Coast Guard and ODEQ will conduct a site visit to view the clean up and remove the booms from the creek.

This spill did not significantly harm the resources at Sequoyah NWR because of the timely notification and response of Service personnel.  The continued partnership among Service offices and other federal and State agencies will help ensure that Service lands are protected from future contaminant releases in Oklahoma.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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