On the morning of July 10, 2022, EPA was notified by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) Emergency Response Duty Officer that a mercury release that occurred in a residence in Bend, Deschutes County, Oregon. An large antique grandfather clock that was being moved into the house from a moving van had released elemental mercury onto the driveway and onto the floor of the home. The movers tried to clean it up but were unsuccessful. The homeowner then contacted the Bend Fire Department, who mobilized to the site but did not see a need for further cleanup. After the property owner observed visible beads of mercury remaining on the floor, he contacted ODEQ. ODEQ then requested EPA’s assistance with responding to the mercury release. On July 10, an EPA On-Scene Coordinator and EPA START contractors mobilized to the site to conduct an assessment and determine next steps.
During the assessment by the EPA and START, it was determined that mercury had been tracked and spread throughout the home by residents, family and friends, and a pet dog. Further, liquid mercury was found to be scattered across and underneath across the pavestone driveway, inside two vehicles, and on the the garage floor. The EPA OSC determined that a removal was necessary, and mobilized EPA contractors to the site to conduct a removal action.