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Oiled merganser recovered from the Yampa River oil spill, June 1989. Credit: Rick Krueger, USFWS.
Boom work at the Yampa River oil spill, June 1989. Credit: Rick Krueger, USFWS.
Oil and hazardous material spills can and do cause adverse effects on fish and wildlife resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service responds to spills to minimize and assess impacts on fish and wildlife resources for which it has legal management authority and responsibility, such as migratory birds and threatened and endangered species. Most spills in Region 6 are caused by pipeline breaks or transportation-related accidents. In 1997, 1,740 spills were reported to EPA's Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) for the states in Region 6. Four hundred and thirty of the 1,740 spills affected surface water.