Coast Guard cuts toward source of Columbia River oil sheen

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Coast Guard crews in Astoria are inspecting an old tank that’s likely responsible for an oil sheen on the Columbia River.

The sheen was spotted almost two weeks ago near the Cannery Pier Hotel. It has been concentrated near the hotel but was visible about 5 miles along the river at its peak and has also been spotted on boats.

A Coast Guard diver discovered the tank encapsulated by concrete on the south side of dilapidated pier. It’s located on the same property as the hotel, though hotel management says it had no knowledge of the tank until the sheen appeared.

The Daily Astorian reports Coast Guard crews have cut a hole in the tank to survey it. The Coast Guard says the tank likely contains about 2,000 gallons of heavy, sludge-like oil.