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Flathead National Forest investigating oil dumping incident

FNF Oil Dumping
FNF Oil Dumping
Posted at 7:27 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 09:27:04-04

KALISPELL — The Flathead National Forest is seeking information about an oil dumping incident in the Swan Lake Ranger District on Crane Mountain.

US Forest Service staff learned of the incident after receiving detailed reports from the concerned public and discovered multiple 50 gallon and 250 gallon containers, according to a news release.

Those containers contained substances that appeared to be oil and other potentially hazardous chemicals. Many of the barrels were leaking and substances were running down the hillside coating huckleberry bushes and other vegetation.

Flathead National Forest officials are coordinating with local hazardous materials experts to determine the appropriate clean-up activities.

“We have many resources in the county to properly dispose of hazardous materials,” said Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling. “Dumping them in a national forest not only costs taxpayers considerably more to clean up, but also has the potential to damage our ecosystem and recreation opportunities.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Flathead National Forest Law Enforcement Office at (406) 758-5297. Information can be reported anonymously.