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Water officials demand action in Keswick oil leak

By Vienna Montague, Producer
Published On: Mar 19 2014 08:42:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2014 08:42:57 PM CDT
Oil Leak At Keswick Dam
REDDING, Calif. -

The Central Valley Water Board is demanding action after finding an ongoing oil leak into the Sacramento River.

The oil is leaking below Keswick Dam, which is owned and operated by The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The Bureau received a notice of violation from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board on Wednesday.

When the area below the Keswick Dam was inspected in February, the Bureau placed oil absorbent booms in the river to soak up the tiny amounts of oil that had been leaking from a sump that overflowed in December.

The report found similar leaks at the Spring Creek and Carr powerhouses, and found evidence that the Bureau of Reclamation failed to report the leaks.

Water Board Assistant Executive Officer Clint Snyder said he wants a permanent solution.

“What they have been doing doesn’t work. It hasn’t led to confidence in our minds that these discharges wouldn’t happen again.”

The Bureau of Reclamation said they took all the proper steps of prevention.

“Immediately after being made aware of the release, we took measures to help prevent a recurrence. We are also planning longer term modifications to the power plants,” the Bureau of Reclamation said. “Reclamation’s mission is to safely and effectively manage our facilities while assuring the public is safe and the environment is protected.”

The Bureau of Reclamation has until April 18 to respond to the findings.

The Water Board just wants the problem fixed, and doesn’t anticipate issuing any fines or penalties.