Latest on spill: 15,812 gallons of oil/fuel collected, 636 tons of contaminated soil removed


Mitigation/cleanup teams assessing shorelines

News Journal staff report



Suit online

The lawsuit is online with this article at wnewsj.com .

Cleanup of the fuel spill to Dutch Creek continued Tuesday at several collection points with oversight by Ohio EPA, Dina Pierce with the Ohio EPA told the News Journal late Tuesday afternoon.

To date, approximately 15,812 gallons of oil/fuel have been collected, and 636.4 tons of contaminated soil removed, Clinton County EMA Director Thomas Breckel told county commissioners in an update report to them Wednesday morning. In total, 258,783 gallons of oil and water have been collected.

“Mitigation and cleanup teams are assessing the affected shoreline and riparian area to guide efforts to further address the impacts,” Pierce added.

At the commissioners appointment, Breckel said as environmental contractors start demobilizing their earlier positions, there will be more activity along the shorelines, with contact made with the property owners in order to do assessments and start pulling some things out.

Barring any disruption to the plan, the upcoming weekend of March 19-20 may mark a major de-escalation in the response to the spill impacting Dutch Creek, originating from R+L Carriers property at 600 Gillam Road, said Breckel.

As of Friday, March 11, R+L Carriers has installed an oil and water separator on R+L property.

“That is up and operating. That is a good, going-forward type measure because if something like this ever happens again, they’ve got a great defensive piece right there to try to keep a majority of it on-property and not have the same situation we had,” Breckel said.

Clinton County Health District Environmental Health Director Matt Johannes has done water sampling for a couple wells at different locations, reported Breckel.

Clinton County Commissioner Mike McCarty asked whether there is a plan concerning the wildlife and how to reintroduce it to the affected area sometime in the future. Breckel said that question would best be answered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The diesel fuel spill sparked a class action lawsuit, filed earlier this week.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Charles M. Rittgers told the News Journal Wednesday, “We are suing on behalf of property owners for the losses they were forced to incur because of this spill. It is too early to tell the extent of the damages and the long-term impact of the spill, but we want to make sure the remediation effort is completed to the fullest extent possible and we want people to be compensated for what was unnaturally taken from them, this includes their right to enjoy their property.”

Rittgers added, “The people who live next to the waterways that are polluted with thousands of gallons of diesel fuel are concerned about their well water, the air they breathe, and their animals and children. Everyone hopes the remediation efforts remove as much diesel and benzene from the water and land as quickly as possible.”

When asked a dollar amount that the suit may be seeking, he replied, “It’s too early to tell the extent of damage related to this spill.”

Clinton County Public Information Officer Duane Weyand said he wants to keep promoting the use of the Smart911 feature as a way to quickly reach residents in the event of similar situations, tornado warnings and so forth.

You can create your free Smart911 account at www.cc-ema.org/alerts .

The spill spanned about 6.5 miles along the Dutch Creek corridor from R+L Carriers to where it joins with Todd’s Fork (Majestic Springs Gold Course), stated a Clinton County EMA news release.

The spill response was challenged, said Breckel, by two weather systems — a March 6-7 rain and a March 11-12 snowfall.

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Mitigation/cleanup teams assessing shorelines

News Journal staff report

Suit online

The lawsuit is online with this article at wnewsj.com .