More than a month after an oil spill at the former Olympia Brewery leached into the nearby Deschutes River and Capitol Lake, cleanup crews remain at work trying to remove oil from affected vegetation.
The Washington State Department of Ecology scheduled a public meeting this week to give people in the community an opportunity to learn more about the response to the oil spill.
The meeting, which takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Olympia Center in Olympia, is free to attend
The department encourages people and organizations with property along the lake to attend the meeting. The department has contacted waterfront owners to request access for cleanup work along private shorelines.
The spill was caused by a large electrical transformer at the former Olympia Brewery, according to a press release from the DOE. Oil ran into stormwater drains and discharged into Tumwater Falls Park and the Deschutes River. Some of the oil reached Capitol Lake and became enmeshed in shoreline vegetation. It is not known how much oil spilled, but the transformer had a capacity of 677 gallons.
The oil contained a low concentration of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and thus does not pose an immediate risk to human health and safety. PCBs released into bodies of water can, however, accumulate in the aquatic food web and reach harmful levels in fish.