On 2/3/ 2022, EPA was contacted by Josephine County Public Health
regarding an incident at the Josephine County Jail in Grants Pass,
Oregon. An inmate at the
jail smuggled in a golf ball sized bag of the synthetic opioid fentanyl into a
holding cell. The inmate and three other inmates in the cell shared and ingested the drug, and were found to be overdosing. After discovery by jail deputies, the drug
was shoved down a floor drain in the holding cell. This released an
unknown amount of fentanyl into the holding cell and floor drain. The floor drain
is closed off and secured. The four affected inmates and three deputies were then transported to a local hospital where they were treated for potential fentanyl exposure.
Medford Fire/Hazmat Team 8 initially responded to the incident site and performed some
decontamination and stabilization activities, but were not able to conduct a cleanup of the cell. Josephine County then contacted EPA and requested assistance in conducting a removal action. ODEQ also deferred the site to EPA.
On 2/3/2022, EPA mobilized an On Scene-Coordinator along with START and ERRS contractors to assess the site and conduct appropriate cleanup and decontamination measures. The Oregon 102nd WMD Civil Support Team
(CST) is also responding in order to assist EPA.