Bubbly Creek Mystery Oil Spill

Chicago, IL - Region V

Site Contact:

Len Zintak


Chicago River
Mile Marker 321
Chicago, IL 60608

Latitude: 41.8436188
Longitude: -87.6632079
NRC#: 1184231

On October 26, 2017, EPA responded to an approximate 1.5-mile mystery oil spill on the South Fork Chicago River (a.k.a. Bubbly Creek). The oil spill extended from the City of Chicago Boathouse at Park #571 pier on S. Eleanor Street south throughout Bubbly Creek and west into the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal (CSSC) to approximately California Ave. Oil was also found in the inlet east of Ashland Avenue. Only pockets of oil were discovered on the CSSC.

Dec. 18 Update
EPA's response to the Bubbly Creek Mystery Oil Spill has been completed. The oil was identified as slightly weathered low-sulfur diesel fuel mixed with lubricating oil but the source and exact quantity of oil remain unknown. EPA with support from the Coast Guard, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the City of Chicago investigated the cause of the spill however the source could not be determined.

A total of 500 feet of containment boom, 3,640 feet of soft adsorbent boom and 62 bags of adsorbent pads (100 pads per bag) were used during cleanup operations. One Canada goose and one turtle impacted by the spill were able to be rehabilitated Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center but unfortunately one Canada goose, one seagull, one turtle and 43 fish died.



  • None for this site


  • None for this site



  • None for this site