Oregon Fines Forest Service Over Escaped Algae

April 11, 2013 - 4:00 PM

The U.S. Forest Service in Oregon has been slammed with a $8,800 fine by the state for allowing a mat of algae to float out of its reservoir and into a creek.

The algae mat in question escaped from a reservoir at the J Herbert Stone Nursery and into Jackson Creek in Central Point, Oregon last year. The State Department of Environmental Quality issued the fine after they traced a gleaming sheet of algae in Jackson Creek.

"Just releasing an algal mat reduces water quality," Bill Meyers, the DEQ's water-quality specialist in the Rogue River Basin, told the Mail Tribune.

It was initially suspected that the algae strain released was potentially toxic - this was not the case. The greatest concerns regarding the algae are that it could potential t reduce the oxygen supply for fish, stain rock stain, and reduce water quality.

"I don't think we have that many instances where we have a point source that discharges algae," said Jeff Bachman, a DEQ environmental law specialist in Portland.

No traces of algae were found further upstream after tests were conducted. The U.S. Forest service is currently appealing the fine.

See more "Right Views, Right Now."