CLEVELAND — Results of testing from the Good Friday spill into Lake Erie have confirmed lube oil as the previously unknown substance. The oil is ninety-three percent mineral oil which has toxicity levels on par with baby oil.
Crews have been on site around the clock since last Saturday cleaning the oil from the containment area near the Yacht Club. The remaining product continues to be captured and removed by responders as well as dissipate through natural processes. The rainbow sheens currently visible represent significantly thinner layers of oil as the remaining amount of spilled product continues to be reduced. With this progress, the tanker trucks and skimming boats have been replaced with Pom-Poms and other collection techniques to absorb the remaining oil on the surface.
The crews are operating under the direction of a unified command, consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, City of Cleveland Public Utilities, and Cleveland Public Power.
Cleveland Public Power has accepted the role of responsible party for the cleanup.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is responding to any reports of impacted wildlife.
Coast Guard pollution responders from Marine Safety Unit Cleveland and a contractor from Clean Harbors remain on scene to monitor the situation.
The Coast Guard established a safety zone from the southeast corner of Burke Lakefront Airport to the western breakwall of East 55th Street Marina. Boaters are prohibited from transiting through, anchoring or entering into the safety zone. Additionally, boaters must not produce wake while transiting near the Forest City Yacht Club since doing so reduces the effectiveness of the substance containment and recovery equipment being used.
The investigation and cleanup operations are ongoing, and more information will be released as the situation develops and it becomes available.
Photos of the response are available at the links below.
Previous releases can be found here:
Date: Apr 8, 2015
Time: 4:30 PM
Cleveland Public Power, Cleveland Public Utilities
Contact: Shelley Shockley 216-857-6899 or Erica L. Creech 216-857-7951