EPA monitors situation
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are continuing to monitor the waters of the Lowerymore river after a forty foot truck overturned shedding its load of vegetable oil.
An unknown quantity of the oil seeped into a culvert and stream in the area on Wednesday last at Barnesmore gap.
The forty foot articulated truck was transporting vegetable oil for reprocessing when it left the road on the N15 when the incident occurred.
The vehicle landed on its side and slid into a roadside drain, shedding its load of vegetable oil, which was packaged in plastic buckets, drums and 1 tonne IBC’s. The truck landed on the entrance to a roadside culvert conveying a small mountain stream into the Lowerymore river.
Immediately following the accident, an unknown quantity of vegetable oil percolated slowly through the load into the culvert and river.
Donegal County Council engaged 2 private contractors to assist with the clean-up operation, which was headed up by a specialist pollution response and remediation company engaged by the insurers of company who owned the material spilt.
Staff from Inland Fisheries Ireland were involved in deploying and overseeing the deployment of booms in the river to catch any material released downstream and in monitoring its impact. No fish mortalities were reported.
Council staff and the various specialist contractors worked quickly to contain the oil emerging through the culvert from the vehicle’s load and continued through to the early hours of the morning to unload the truck, retrieve and collect any vegetable oil released and ensure that only minute traces of the vegetable oil entered the river.
The vehicle was lifted and removed at approximately 3am, with the assistance of An Garda Síochána to manage traffic flow, and the clean-up continued until all materials were removed.
The operation was concluded on Thursday afternoon, although booms remain in place in the Lowerymore river, at a number of strategic locations, to provide continued protection from residual material which may remain lodged in vegetation along the course of the river.
Inspections of the lower reaches of the river indicated that these and all other measures taken have been very effective. There has been no evidence of any traces of the vegetable oil in Lough Eske and the River Eske as it flows out of the lake.