Fuel Spill in Clearwater Remains Mystery


It's been nearly a week since a petroleum leak was discovered in the Clearwater River near Orofino, and environmental officials still aren't certain where it's coming from.

Containing booms were placed in the river when an oily sheen was first spotted on Dec. 30. The leak is reportedly near an unmanned gas station. Earl Liverman of the Environmental Protection Agency told the Lewiston Tribune earlier this week that fuel lines at the station were tested nearly a year ago and no leaks were found. But a small earthquake shook the region on Nov. 11, so the EPA is retesting. Liverman said the leak could be coming from an underground storage tank or something leaching from an abandoned landfill.

The 75-mile-long Clearwater flows westward from the Bitterroot Mountains and joins the Snake River in Lewiston.