News and Activities

Tracking Oil Spills

Date Posted: June 22, 2001

The Rock Island Field (Illinois) Office contaminants program covers Illinois (excluding the Chicago counties), Iowa and the Mississippi River between the Wisconsin and Kentucky borders. The office may receive more than 300 oil and chemical spill notifications per year, with a majority being along the Mississippi River. In order to provide review of the spill incident reports and determine which spills the Service should respond to, the Rock Island Field Office developed an interactive mapping system to catalog and screen spill events. The location of the spill is compared to wetland, endangered species, National wildlife refuge land and Natural Resource Damage Assessment site location data. If the database shows any of these sensitive areas or resources are in the spills potential impact area or if a wildlife kill is reported, the spill is assigned to a biologist for follow up. In addition, the database allows the Office to view the distribution of spills to identify hot spots (areas where spills commonly occur).

Desiree Sheets, 309-793-5800 x529.

Last updated: June 12, 2015