Dye test planned on Potomac River oil sheen

WASHINGTON — If you see discolored water in the Potomac River and Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary on Monday, it’s likely part of the ongoing effort to contain and identify an oily sheen.

The U.S. Coast Guard and local environmental agencies have been working since last week to contain an oily sheen near Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Over the weekend, local officials said it had been successfully contained. Now, a response team is planning to conduct a dye test on Monday in the “storm water conveyance system for the Roaches Run watershed,” according to a Coast Guard news release.

“The purpose of the dye test is to help identify possible source areas for the sheen observed on Roaches Run and in the Potomac River,” Cmdr. Michael Keane, incident commander, said in the release. “The dye can be seen as a bright yellow or green and is non-toxic, non-staining and water-soluble.”

People may notice discolored water due to the test, but Keane says it will naturally disperse.

The Coast Guard says some recovered oil is awaiting analysis at a lab.

Members of the community who see oil or impacted animals should call 311.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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