ASTORIA, Ore. — The US Coast Guard announced today that they are finally finishing cleanup operations on the Columbia River in Astoria after almost a month. The estimated cost of the cleanup is over $900,000, which will be paid by the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF).
A significant oil sheen appeared on the river near the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria back in the middle of January. When the Coast Guard was called in to aid in containing the spreading oil, they found a 16-foot by 6-foot oil tank underneath a crumbling old pier. Responders were able to remove the tank on January 30th. Containment and cleaning of the remaining oil, which collected on the nearby seawall and pilings, has taken weeks to accomplish.
There is no word yet on where the oil tank originated, or who might be responsible for its presence under the pier. The OSLTF was established by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1990, and pays for cleanup in instances where the responsible party is unknown or cannot pay for cleanup.