On Friday June 22, staff at Voyageurs National Park were notified that there had been a 15-20 gallon fuel oil spill on the north side of Peterson Bay at a private residence during a delivery of fuel by contractors.
Within an hour of the reported spill, 130 feet of fuel containment boom and 200 fuel spill absorbent pads were deployed around the fuel spill area to contain it. The U.S Coast Guard Response Center, EPA, MN DNR, Kabetogama Fire Department, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency were all contacted and notified of the spill.
Due to the fuel oil being diluted and dispersed after the spill, containment efforts were not fully successful as fuel oil spread out beyond the boom. At 9:04 p.m. the park received reports that fuel was along the beach on the south side of Peterson Bay. Rangers responded and found that there was an oily sheen along the southern shoreline.
At this time the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has advised us that evaporation is our best option as there is no way to siphon or soak up the diluted fuel off the water surface. The park is monitoring the fuels movement and the boom will stay in place until Monday June 25th at 9 a.m. to allow for evaporation to occur.
The Park Service reminds local businesses and contractors who dispense fuel to have fuel containment supplies on hand and containment plans in place prior to spills. Rangers are working to contact local residents and businesses to advise them of the incident, and continue to investigate.