On May, 8, 2020, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) notified EPA of a report of oily tar balls being stranded along the shoreline at Ruthton Point in the Columbia River, near the town of Hood River, Oregon. The EPA On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) for the area opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and issued a Pollution Removal Funding Authorization (PRFA) to ODEQ for response and removal activities at the site.
On the morning of May 9, 2020, the ODEQ State On-Scene Coordinator mobilized to the site with response contractors and a representative of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), and began an assessment and removal of tar balls along the shoreline at Ruthton Point. Later in the day, CRITFC and ODEQ discovered and removed more tar balls along the shoreline at Viento State Park, which is 4.5 miles downriver from Ruthton Point. ODEQ EPA is monitoring and providing oversight of the incident remotely.