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Klamath Falls Motel Mercury

Site Contact:
Michael Boykin
On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
5543 South 6th Street
Klamath Falls, OR 97603

A motel guest accidentally spilled elemental mercury in their room resulting in contaminated carpeting and bedding. The motel owner coordinated with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on the scope of work to be completed. The owner contracted with a cleanup company who removed part of the carpet but did not conduct follow-up clearance monitoring/sampling.

The DEQ requested EPA assistance in assessing and remediating the remaining mercury contamination. EPA, START and ERRS contractors mobilized on December 10 and 11 to conduct assessment and implement removal activities.

EPA and its contractors assessed the ambulances used to transport the motel guest and the medical center where the motel guest was treated. Mercury contamination readings were all at or below background. Assessment of the motel room found elevated readings of elemental mercury in the ambient air and on surfaces. Following cleanup of the room, EPA used a Lumex Mercury Vapor Analyzer to confirm removal of mercury from the air and interior surfaces, with subsequent overnight air sampling confirming that elemental mercury was below levels requiring further action.