I read with disappointment that the government is reporting another oil leak at the Bonneville Dam. According to the March 6 Columbian online story, “Small oil leak reported at Bonneville Dam,” the Army Corps of Engineers reports that only 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil leak into the river per day. Framed that way, the leak sounds insignificant, but when you take into account that the leak has persisted for over a month and the source has still not been identified, the environmental damage starts to add up.
The Army Corps clearly has problems keeping Bonneville and the other leaky, old dams it manages on the Columbia River from spilling oil into the river, as well. I think it’s time for this to change.
Oil does not magically disappear. Communities downstream of Bonneville deserve to have clean water for fishing and swimming. While the Army Corps might not think a small oil spill is a big deal, every drop of oil spilled at every dam adds up to be a huge problem for the Columbia River and the people who use it.