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Bentonite Spill Cleanup at Marys River

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife released an update about bentonite spill into the Marys River in September. ODFW says the cleanup was cut short because of heavy rain.

The spill happened while Northwest Natural was working on a pipe installation project and a drilling lubricant was released into the Marys River.

Though it’s not toxic, ODFW says it can suffocate wildlife living at the bottom of the river.

“The main concern with bentonite is when there’s a great deal of it and when it clumps together. Once it goes into suspension it disperses, and so then it tends to be less of a concern about there being large collections of it,” said Elise Kelley, ODFW Fish Biologist.

Kelley says once the water level goes down, ODFW will be able to test the area again to see if there is any bentonite left.

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