The City of Salem reports that a hydraulic oil spill occurred on August 17, 2019 at approximately 4:00 p., into Pringle Creek near 315 Commercial Street SE. The release occurred when a contractor working for the City was in the process of demolishing old structures from the former Boise Cascade site as part of the City project. The project involves restoration of the Pringle creek to its original location and repairing its riparian corridor.
An old elevator shaft with previously undiscovered hydraulic oil leaked when the contractor proceeded to remove a pipe from within the project site. The contractor immediately started addressing the release using onsite spill absorbent pads and booms. The contractor and the City inspector promptly informed the Oregon Emergency Reponse System of the release and had the City’s Environmental Services respond as the first responder to assist with containment. Approximately 40-50 gallons of hydraulic oil was spilled. Most of the free product was contained in an already isolated area however some hydraulic oil made its way through the stream gravel resulting in sheen in the Willamette Slough. Environmental Services staff immediately put multiple fuel absorbing booms to soak up the oil in Pringle Creek and Willamette Slough. The contractor contacted Northwest Firefighters Environmental Services for additional assistance.
At the present time the contractor has managed to pump out the free product that had accumulated in the contained area and plans to further pump out any remaining hydraulic oil in the old elevator shaft today. The City will work with the Department of Environmental Quality and other regulatory agencies to coordinate any additional steps that may be needed.