On March 18th, 2023, an oil spill was discovered in a stormwater pond in New Berlin, Wisconsin. The presence and smell of oil was reported in the pond on Sunday and the New Berlin Police, Fire, and Emergency Management Departments all responded. The City of New Berlin quickly issued a statement assuring residents that there are no known risks to their health or the environment, but that residents should avoid the spill zone. The statement also mentioned that the city is working to contain and clean up the spill in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Impact of Oil Spills on the Environment, Wildlife, and Humans
According to the Used Oil Management Association (UOMA), oil spills can have detrimental effects on the environment, wildlife, and human health. When oil enters bodies of water, it can harm aquatic animals and plants by suffocating them and contaminating drinking water. It can also affect the food chain by contaminating the prey of larger animals. Oil spills can cause respiratory problems for humans who inhale the fumes, and skin irritation if they come into contact with the oil. If that wasn’t enough, oil spills can also seep into the ground and contaminate ground water.
UOMA also notes that oil spills can damage infrastructure, such as roads and buildings, as well as cause economic losses for businesses that rely on tourism and fishing.
It is unclear how much oil was spilled in New Berlin, or what caused the spill. However, the City of New Berlin has assured residents that they are taking the necessary steps to contain and clean up the spill. They have also asked residents to avoid the area until the cleanup is complete. While the city responded quickly, the cleanup will still take weeks. The city was also able to determine the source of the spill. “The City of New Berlin shared online Monday evening that, “City agencies are coordinating with the DNR and the identified business and property owners responsible for the spill in order to continue the efforts the city initiated yesterday afternoon. Officials are actively monitoring the situation to ensure public safety.”
Preventing Future Oil Spills
Oil spills are not uncommon and can happen for a variety of reasons, such as accidents during transportation or equipment failure. It is important for individuals and businesses to properly dispose of used oil and follow regulations to prevent oil spills.
In addition, it is crucial for governments and industries to prioritize environmental protection and invest in measures to prevent and mitigate oil spills. This can include implementing regulations and safety measures, as well as investing in research and development of cleaner and safer technologies.
In conclusion, the recent oil spill in New Berlin serves as a reminder of the potential harm that oil spills can cause to the environment, wildlife, and human health. It is important for individuals and businesses to properly dispose of used oil and for governments and industries to prioritize environmental protection and invest in measures to prevent and mitigate oil spills.
If you’d like to learn more about UOMA or its members, get in touch today.