Monday, Nov 12, 2018
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Another 125 dead, oil-soaked birds discovered in Northwest Ohio

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BRYAN — Authorities discovered another 125 dead, oil-soaked birds — mostly ducks —  today near the vicinity of Saturday's Titan Tire spill, bringing the total number of dead animals to 150, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said.

John Windau, spokesman for the Ohio DNR's wildlife division, said the agency continues to work with volunteers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assess the total loss.

The Ohio DNR will consider filing charges once it believes it knows the full extent of the damage, Mr. Windau said.

Meanwhile, efforts to decontaminate about 400 surviving ducks continue, he said.

Volunteers are working with Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, Inc., of Newark, Del., to wash off oil. Each bird takes about an hour to clean, Lisa Smith, the group's executive director, has said.

The spill was reported to the Bryan Fire Department Saturday morning by a local waterfowl hunter, Dick Long.

The fire department and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency traced the spill to Titan Tire's factory on South Union Street. The company has not responded to requests for interviews.

Dina Pierce, Ohio EPA spokesman, has said there was a problem with a valve on an above-ground storage tank, releasing used lube oil into Prairie Creek, better known in Williams County as Ditch 40.

Ditch 40 flows into the Tiffin River, a Maumee River tributary.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com, 419-724-6079, or via Twitter @ecowriterohio.

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