On the evening of Tuesday December 17, 2019, EPA received notification of a petroleum release in the town of Plummer, Idaho. Plummer is located on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation. Gasoline odors and visible sheen were reported from the City of Plummer’s wastewater treatment plant. Treated water from this facility discharges to Plummer Creek, which is a tributary of Lake Chatcolet, Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River. Gasoline vapors also impacted several local businesses including a bank and a restaurant where explosive gas conditions (LEL) were detected near or above established evacuation levels (10%). Vapors exceeding 10% LEL were also detected in City sewers.
EPA’s assistance was requested by the Coeur D’Alene Tribe to help identify the source, assess the threat to surface water, and conduct air monitoring.