NW Portland tanker spill killed fish in creek

NW Portland tanker spill killed fish in creek

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 5:34 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 12 at 5:55 AM

PORTLAND -- A tanker truck crash Wednesday on Cornelius Pass Road contaminated nearby McCarthy Creek with about 2,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer, killing about 80 native cutthroat trout.

Some 1,000 fish and marine creatures within a half-mile of the crash scene have died, according to Tom Murtagh, a fish biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The nitrogen-based fertilizer depleted the water of oxygen, which in turn killed some of the marine life, he said.

The company responsible for the spill has been working with the Department of Environmental Quality and ODFW to fix the situation.

In addition to the cleanup effort in the creek, crews were removing the contaminated soil along the roadway and replacing it with gravel Thursday.

Murtagh said the contamination does not pose a hazard to humans, although the fertilizer could irritate the skin of anyone who comes in contact with it.

The crash occurred along Northwest Cornelius Pass Road near Northwest 8th Avenue Wednesday afternoon. Crews expect to have the entire roadway reopened by 8 p.m. Thursday, according to Multnomah County spokesman Mike Pullen.

Background: Tanker truck crash on Cornelius Pass Rd.

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