Jan 05, 2007

Spilled Milk Enters Oregon River

600 gallons of spilled milk poured into Oregon’s Coquille River from a dairy processing plant in Myrtle Point, Ore.

Ken Murphy, the director of the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, told TheWorldlink.com that emergency dispatchers were contacted at Myrtle Point Wastewater Treatment Plant reporting that milk was pouring into the sewage system.

Murphy was told that a valve had been left open at Valley Crest Dairy, thus spilling milk into the sanitary sewage system.

Randy Whobrey, Myrtle Point City Manager, reported that the amount of milk spilled was 600 gallons, or 5,000 pounds.

Among the state agencies made aware of the spill were the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and Oregon State police.

Murphy noted that in similar spilled milk cases in the state, the milk had caused respiration problems for fish. However, due to the heavy rains and elevated river levels, the milk dispersed quickly.

Within the last fire years, there has been an average of one spill per year from Valley Crest Foods. Most of these spills are caused by mechanical failures. The city has begun working with Valley Crest on installing a spill tank.