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Former brewery building to be removed as part of oil spill cleanup in Tumwater

What’s going on at the Fifth Avenue dam?

An oil leak caused by vandals at the former Olympia Brewery closed Tumwater Falls Park and prompted the installation of an oil boom in front of the Fifth Avenue dam on Capitol Lake.
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An oil leak caused by vandals at the former Olympia Brewery closed Tumwater Falls Park and prompted the installation of an oil boom in front of the Fifth Avenue dam on Capitol Lake.

Boston Street Southwest in Tumwater was closed Wednesday as crews continued to clean up after an oil spill at the former Olympia Brewing Co. property.

Crews this week plan to remove a building located next to the site of the transformer that leaked oil into the Deschutes River and Capitol Lake in February. The building houses other transformers.

Boston Street was closed between Custer Way Southwest and Deschutes Way Southwest. The closure could last into Friday depending on how long the work takes.

In late February, the transformer was damaged by vandals and spilled oil containing a low concentration of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, which can accumulate in bodies of water and reach harmful levels in fish.

“Part of the cleanup is eliminating any additional source of pollution that could roll down the hill and into the river,” said Sandy Howard with the state Department of Ecology’s spills program. Howard said anything in the building that can’t be removed will be sealed off.

An oil containment boom remains in place near the Fifth Avenue dam at Capitol Lake. So far no oil has been detected in Budd Inlet, according to the Department of Ecology.

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