Dam Turbine Leaks Hundreds of Gallons of
STARBUCK, WA -- An unknown amount of oil has leaked into the Snake River over the past three months from Little Goose Dam near Starbuck in Eastern Washington, says the Army Corps of Engineers.
Maintenance staff have confirmed a leak in one of the dam's six turbines used for hydropower generation, the Corps said.
There are indications that 300 to 600 gallons of oil have leaked, some of it into the river, with staff still determining the amount.
The dam is about 29 miles upstream from Ice Harbor Dam, the closest Snake River hydropower dam to the Tri-Cities.
No sheen has been spotted in the river, but oil absorbent booms have been installed to capture any potential additional leaks.
The turbine has been taken out of service and isolated from the river water as repairs are being made, according to the Corps.
"Our team at Little Goose Dam took appropriate actions to remove the turbine from service, assess and contain the leak," said Paul Ocker, operations division chief for the Corp's Walla Walla District said.
"As environmental stewards, our goal is to respond swiftly and decisively during oil leak responses," he said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard, the Washington state Department of Ecology and the Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission have been notified.
Little Goose construction started in June 1963. The filling of Lake Bryan began on Feb.16, 1970, and continued until elevation 638 feet was reached on Feb. 25, 1970. The dam is 2,655 feet long with an effective height of about 100 feet. It is located on the Snake River near Starbuck, Wash., and upstream of Lake West, the reservoir formed by Lower Monumental Dam. It is a concrete gravity dam with an earthfill abutment embankment. It includes a navigation lock and eightbay spillway 512 feet long, which has eight 50 feet by 60 feet tainter gates. The installation of power generating units one through three was completed, and the first unit began producing power in March 1970. Additional power units four through six were installed and power for those units came online in July 1978. Revisions were made to the juvenile fish facility in 1982 and 1984.Related Pages:
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