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Avoid Contact With Tar Balls Found On The Beach

Responders continue surveying and cleanup efforts for a tar-like substance washing up on shorelines and impacting wildlife since Sunday, May 19 from Long Beach, WA to south of Newport near mile post 146. To support the response, avoid contact with the tar balls and do not try to clean them up yourself – leave that to the responders.

Coastal visitors are encouraged to avoid touching or handling the tar balls or other oily material. Dogs and other pets should be kept away from these materials. Tar balls are sticky and can get on skin, hair and clothing. If this happens, wash the area with soap or degreasing dishwashing detergent and water. Avoid using solvents, gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel or similar products.

If you see oiled birds or other wildlife, report it to 1-800-22-BIRDS (1-800-222-4737). Untrained handling of affected wildlife is dangerous to the animals and any individuals attempting to help. Multiple oil spill response organizations with trained personnel and equipment are actively working to address impacted areas and priority, high-visitation sites. Please leave cleanup to professional responders who are trained and equipped to handle this type of material.

Responders will conduct aerial surveillance operations throughout the weekend to determine the substance's source. The public is asked to refrain from recreational drone usage in affected areas where aerial surveillance is conducted. The Unified Command responding to this incident is led by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Washington Department of Ecology. They are testing samples to determine the source of the tar-like substance, but results are not expected until later next week.

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