Komatsu Milwaukee River oil spill, goose, owl recovering
MILWAUKEE - Komatsu Mining Corporation estimates it's recovered 80% of the oil spilled into the Menomonee River, but there's concern this spill could have a long-term impact beyond the watershed.
A second wild animal, a Canada goose, was found Saturday, Dec. 11, covered in oil from the spill reported at Komatsu Mining's facility near American Family Field. The company says it's working as quickly as possible to contain the oil, but others aren't so sure.
Edward Janowski described seeing the Canada goose covered in oil and distress near the Menomonee River Saturday before calling the Wisconsin Humane Society for help.
"It's a big worry because I never want to see something like that again, where the bird just could not fly and move around," said Janowski.
It's the second bird the Humane Society has cared for tied to the Komatsu Mining oil spill reported Dec. 3. Angela Speed said the goose and a snowy owl will likely remain in their care for several weeks.
"We are working every day to support both of these beautiful creatures, and we're really hopeful for a release back into the wild later this winter," said Speed.
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Monday, Dec. 13 marked the tenth day of cleanup. Komatsu and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have deployed booms into the city's rivers to absorb the estimated 400 gallons of oil which Komatsu says is a combination of spent cutting, hydraulic and lubrication oils from the manufacturing process.
For Jennifer Bolger Breceda with Milwaukee Riverkeeper, she's afraid the sheen visible on the water in different parts of the city is proof this spill could harm the watershed and more animals relying on it.
Oil sheen on Menomonee River (Courtesy: Milwaukee Riverkeeper)
"We are concerned that a lot of the oil was not recovered," said Bolger Breceda. "There's slicks kind of all over."
She's afraid the sheen visible on the water in different parts of the city is proof this spill could harm the watershed.
"The oil will sink to the bottom, and it will impact fish and macron vertebrates, the little critters on the bottom of the river that the fish eat to survive and the plants need to grow," she said. "You know, it's a full, connected system."
The Humane Society asks anyone who may see an animal covered in oil to call them so volunteers can rescue that animal. That number is: 414-431-6204.