An investigation is continuing into a vegetable oil spill into the Lowerymore River.
At approximately 3:30pm on Wednesday an articulated truck transporting vegetable oil for reprocessing left the road on the N15 as it left Barnesmore Gap.
The vehicle landed on its side and slid into a roadside drain, shedding its load of vegetable oil, which was packaged in plastic buckets, drums and 1 tonne IBC’s. The truck landed on the entrance to a roadside culvert conveying a small mountain stream into the Lowerymore river.
Immediately following the accident, an unknown quantity of vegetable oil percolated slowly through the load into the culvert and river.
Following the incident, Donegal County Council engaged 2 private contractors to assist with the clean-up operation, which was headed up by a specialist pollution response and remediation company engaged by the insurers of company who owned the material spilt.
Staff from Inland Fisheries Ireland were involved in deploying and overseeing the deployment of booms in the river to catch any material released downstream and in monitoring its impact. No fish mortalities were reported.
Council staff and the various specialist contractors worked quickly to contain the oil emerging through the culvert from the vehicle’s load and continued through to the early hours of the morning to unload the truck, retrieve and collect any vegetable oil released and ensure that only minute traces of the vegetable oil entered the river.
The vehicle was lifted and removed at approximately 3am yesterday morning, with the assistance of An Garda Siochana to manage traffic flow, and the clean-up continued until all materials were removed.
The operation was concluded yesterday afternoon, although booms remain in place in the Lowerymore river, at a number of strategic locations, to provide continued protection from residual material which may remain lodged in vegetation along the course of the river.
The Council say, inspections of the lower reaches of the river indicated that these and all other measures taken have been very effective. T
here has been no evidence of any traces of the vegetable oil in Lough Eske and the River Eske as it flows out of the lake.
The incident has been reported to the Environmental Protection Agency and ongoing monitoring and investigation continues.