Vegetable Oil Spill kills 60,000 to 100,00 Sculpin in Wyoming
Posted 14 July 2016 - 10:35 AM
Obviously Josh Blaylock thinks 100,000 dead sculpins is something to joke about.
Chill out. If you want to engage discussion, engage it, don't just post the article. I read it, and it sucks that there was a fish kill. I wonder why Sculpin are more affected by Veg. oil, seems odd.
I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.
- Abraham Lincoln, 1861
Posted 14 July 2016 - 02:16 PM
Vegetable Oils can stick to fish and coat them since oil is attracted to lipids in the skin.
Posted 14 July 2016 - 05:48 PM
It's an unusual story in several regards.
I'm not sure that the fines for environmental damages or cleanups would stand if challenged. There's a strong case to be made that that the responding fire department(s) created the runoff that carried the vegetable oil to the creek. Arguably they could have treated the fire some other way that avoided the collateral environmental damage. (Use foam, or just let the fire burn in place.)
In urban areas where you have large professional fire depts, they (AFAIK) routinely try to keep records on what kinds of hazardous materials they might encounter, if they had to respond to a fire call on a property used for commercial or industrial purposes. Smaller (and especially volunteer) fire depts probably do not have the resources to do much of this.
But then again, "vegetable oil" probably isn't listed as toxic in very many lists of hazards.
Vegetable oil and water usually don't mix. Do we think that the vegetable oil probably stopped oxygen exchange at the surface of the creek, and the bottom-loving sculpins just don't move around enough to escape? (OTOH, I've been some places where it seemed like 90% of the fish I caught were sculpins.)
Floridian now back in Florida
Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:04 PM
To follow up on Doug's comments, my understanding is that many fire departments have access to the SDS (safety data sheets - formerly called MSDS - material safety data sheet) for the major facilities that they service. The SDS information includes more than just toxic or dangerous information - the SDS information should also include information on any chemical hazards (health, fire, reactivity, and environmental) like cleaning supplies, vegetable oil, and much more.
Posted 14 July 2016 - 07:17 PM
Posted 14 July 2016 - 09:33 PM
My question about this, beyond how vegetable oil becomes emulsified enough to go into solution in water, is were trout killed too? Or maybe the oil sank to the bottom and mostly affected benthic species? Inquiring minds want to know.
This article from the Washington Department of Ecology states that some trout were killed and addresses what is known about the cause of fish deaths. It appears that it was less of sinking oil and more of a low oxygen issue. Perhaps the high sculpin mortality rate was due to limited mobility?
Posted 15 July 2016 - 12:53 AM
Didn't think about the possible water temp. No easy cure for that, unless industrial properties are required to have on-site retention ponds for the possible runoff of a 1-2 hr fire, or more. And that's just not financially feasible (unless the fire risk is extremely high).
Floridian now back in Florida
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