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Unified Command continues response to contaminated wildlife and tar balls along Oregon Coast and southern Washington Coast

A unified command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Washington Department of Ecology was established Thursday as cleanup efforts continue for a tar-like substance that has impacted shorelines and wildlife from Long Beach, Wash., south to Yaquina Head, Ore.

Multiple agencies are working together to determine the source of the tar-like substance.

Samples have been collected and have been sent out for testing. The source of the substance is currently unknown.

Multiple oiled birds – mostly common murres – have been observed and recovered for treatment at various locations in southern Washington and the central and northern Oregon Coast.

The oil spill response organizations NWFF Environmental and NorthWest HazMat have been contracted for beach cleanup operations in Cannon Beach and Lincoln City in Oregon.

Members from the Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team from Novato, Calif., are currently traveling, to the affected area to provide trained personnel and resources to support the ongoing response.

Please do not touch or handle the tar balls or any other oily material. Keep dogs and other pets away from the materials and report these findings to 1-800-22-BIRDS (1-800-222-4737).

Untrained handling of affected wildlife is dangerous to the animals and any individuals attempting to help.

Agencies involved in this response are:

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality protects human health and the environment by controlling air and water pollution, reducing the impacts of manufactured products and cleaning up contaminated properties. DEQ engages the public in decision-making and helps communities solve problems in ways that are economically and environmentally sustainable.


DEQ Communications and Outreach
Lauren Wirtis
Communications Manager
Oregon DEQ

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