(City of Pocatello Press Release, November 10, 2022)
Local, state, and federal cleanup crews working to recover mineral oil released into Pocatello Creek have collected approximately 3,700 gallons of oil mixed with water and an estimated 1,100 pounds of oiled debris, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Crews have prevented any significant flow of oil from impacting the Portneuf River since arriving on scene. The spill was reported to officials November 2.
During an investigation by the EPA, Virginia Transformer Corporation (VTC) confirmed the oil originated from its facility. The company estimates up to 6,000 gallons were released from a railcar and made its way to a storm drain connected to Pocatello Creek. The cause of the release is under investigation.
VTC has taken financial and operational responsibility for the continued clean-up actions resulting from last week’s mineral oil spill into Pocatello Creek.
EPA has been conducting the emergency response since Thursday, November 3, and has been primarily focused on removing oil from the creek. Now that VTC has assumed financial responsibility EPA will transition to an oversight role in partnership with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Pocatello to ensure an effective clean-up continues in Pocatello Creek and at the facility. The agencies expect the emergency phase of the cleanup to conclude by early next week at which point the clean-up will transition to a long-term remediation phase. This phase of the clean-up is anticipated to extend for several weeks or more.
For any questions or concerns please contact City Public Works Director, Jeff Mansfield at 208-234-6212 or Bill Dunbar with the EPA at 206-245-7452.