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City of Pocatello News

Posted on: November 4, 2022

Crews Continue Clean-up Efforts From Pocatello Creek Oil Spill

Pacific Recycling Trail Closed due to oil spill near Pocatello Creek

November 10, 2022: Crews Continue Clean-up Efforts From Pocatello Creek Oil Spill, Virginia Transformer Corporation Claim Responsibility for Spill

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. 


November 7, 2022: Significant Amount of Oil Recovered From Pocatello Creek Oil Spill, Minimal Impact to Portneuf River 

Local, state, and federal cleanup crews working to recover mineral oil released into Pocatello Creek have collected approximately 1,800 gallons of oil. Since arriving on-site, crews have prevented any significant discharge of the oil from impacting the Portneuf River. The spill was reported to officials November 2.

During an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Virginia Transformer Corporation 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.

The EPA is conducting and funding the cleanup. Cleanup of contaminated soil and creek-bed will continue over the next several days. Pacific Recycling Trail is closed until further notice. EPA air monitoring has identified no public health concerns.

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. 


November 4, 2022: City of Pocatello, EPA, IDEQ Working to Contain Oil Spill Near Pocatello Creek

The City of Pocatello including Pocatello Fire, Public Works, and the Mayor/Council Department, along with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are responding to a significant oil spill believed to originate from an industrial site near Pocatello Creek in Pocatello, upstream of the Portneuf River. A light intermittent sheen is observable on the Portneuf River but no impacts to fish or wildlife have been observed.

Pocatello Fire and IDEQ first responded to the spill following a report from a Good Samaritan on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 2.  Pocatello Fire hazmat teams immediately placed boom in Pocatello Creek to collect and contain the oil. EPA, IDEQ, and Pocatello Public Works responders worked overnight Thursday and into Friday to reinforce the containment and countermeasures established by Pocatello Fire, and EPA is continuing containment and recovery operations. 

Investigators from the agencies believe the spill originated at the Titan Center, formerly known as Gateway West Industrial Center. The cause of the spill has yet to be determined and is under investigation. Pacific Recycling Trail is closed until further notice. 

EPA air monitoring has identified no public health concerns.

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. 


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