Following a December oil spill that occurred at Komatsu Mining Corp.’s
facility at 4400 W. National Ave. in West Milwaukee, the company has entered the final stage of wrapping up their cleanup project with the DNR.
Komatsu officially announced the work to clean up approximately 400 gallons of oil that spilled into the Menomonee River was completed back in March of this year. That work involved the removal of 13,800 gallons of water and oil sheen using absorbent booms and vacuum trucks.
Since then, Komatsu has been working on finalizing a response action report that, once approved by the DNR, will mark the finish line of their cleanup reports. That report was turned in this January.
“We’re currently working with the company on finalizing and reviewing their cleanup report,” said Riley Neumann,
project manager, hydrogeologist and regional spill coordinator with the Wisconsin DNR. “It documents what happened and what the company has done in response. It’s basically called a no further action report, so we’re currently working with them on doing some revisions and getting that submitted.”
The DNR has been out at the impacted river sites almost every day helping oversee the cleanup process.
“We are currently working through the final details with WDNR. Out of an abundance of caution, we continued doing inspections of the waterways through May 31, both through our hired contractors as well as via teams of Komatsu employee volunteers,” said the company in a statement. “No further sheens have been found in our inspections of the waterways.”
During the cleanup process, Komatsu had three to four boats out on the waterway each day with an additional land crew manning a vacuum truck to enable access to oil pockets and sheen at locations along the shoreline. The company also collected 122 bags of trash, debris and other materials from Milwaukee’s waterways. The final details of Komatsu’s full clean-up efforts will become available to the public in the coming months.
“It should be relatively soon that we would get that in (the report) and it would be made publicly available soon thereafter,” Neumann said. “It depends on everyone’s workload.”