State takes over oil spill cleanup at Tumwater brewery

TUMWATER, Wash. -- The state is taking over the cost to finish cleaning up an oil spill that happened in Tumwater nearly two months ago.

More than 600 gallons of mineral oil spilled from a transformer at the former Olympia beer brewing site along the Deschutes River back in February.

The cost of the cleanup has skyrocketed and will cost between $5 million and $6 million to complete. The property owner, Tumwater Development LLC, has spent millions of its own money for the cleanup effort, but the state says the property owner can no longer afford to continue.

“As we continue to seek additional revenue to ensure the necessary resources are available, we believe the solution announced last week will help ensure that critical work continues without any delay. That remains our top priority," the company said in a statement given to The Olympian.

One of the biggest obstacles in the cleanup is that the old transformer might have contained a residual amount of PCBs, man-made, now banned chemicals that are considered toxic and carcinogenic when found in the natural environment.