City council hears report on fire foam spillage into creeks from air park incident


By John Hamilton - [email protected]



Wilmington Police Chief Ron Fithen, left, presents a special plaque to Terri Murphy for her dispatch work during the fire suppression foam discharge incident and the FBI stand-off.

Wilmington Police Chief Ron Fithen, left, presents a special plaque to Terri Murphy for her dispatch work during the fire suppression foam discharge incident and the FBI stand-off.


John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Wilmington Public Work Director Rick Schaffer gives a report about foam spillage as a result of the accident at the air park.


John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

WILMINGTON — A clean-up report on the discharge of fire suppression foam was discussed at Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting.

Rick Schaffer, City of Wilmington Public Works Director, reported to council members and officials the findings of an investigation regarding the foam found in some local water and methods to it up clean up.

The foam was from the August 7 accidental discharge at the Wilmington Air Park.

The report included the finding of foam in Lytle Creek, Cowan Creek, the Cowan Creek intake, and Indian Run. No foam was initially observed at the intake on August 8. The report also noted pumps weren’t on during the time of the accident. The foam was observed in the other three locations.

In regards to Lytle Creek, the report clarifies that “Lytle Creek flows through the City of Wilmington but is not used by the city as a source of drinking water.”

Schaffer added there should be no concern, considering that none of the water is used by the city or its citizens for drinking or cleaning.

For Cowan Creek, the report lists fish had been killed as a result of the spill. More foam would later be discovered at the Cowan Creek intake on August 12, along with dead fish.

LGSTX, the airpark environmental contractor, was notified, according to the report. LGSTX then contacted the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and their cleanup contractor.

“LGSTX is trying to use water to knock down the foam and possibly move the dead fish downstream,” the report states, regarding clean-up.

City officials were informed that no chemicals were used in the sprayers to “knock down” the foam, just water.

Ohio EPA staff reported finding healthy fish further downstream of Cowan Creek when it crosses Ireland Road, meaning the chemicals from the foam hadn’t reached that point.

Also during council:

• Wilmington Police Chief Ron Fithen honored police dispatcher Terri Murphy for her work and professionalism during the foam accident on August 7 and the nearby FBI standoff on August 11.

• Council approved a resolution supporting the Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) Program which will humanely control the feral cat population in the city.

• Mayor John Stanforth announced that on August 24, City Water Protection Coordinator Travis Luncan will be presented with the Conservationist of Year Award at the Warren County Soil and Conservation annual meeting.

• Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker informed council that South Street in front of the library would be closed on August 22 to fix a collapsed storm sewer.

• Shidaker told council he is aware a sign on Progress Way is misspelled. He mentioned this to council, because he has received many calls in regard to the sign.

Wilmington Police Chief Ron Fithen, left, presents a special plaque to Terri Murphy for her dispatch work during the fire suppression foam discharge incident and the FBI stand-off.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/08/web1_DSC_0087.jpgWilmington Police Chief Ron Fithen, left, presents a special plaque to Terri Murphy for her dispatch work during the fire suppression foam discharge incident and the FBI stand-off. John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Wilmington Public Work Director Rick Schaffer gives a report about foam spillage as a result of the accident at the air park.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/08/web1_DSC_0099.jpgWilmington Public Work Director Rick Schaffer gives a report about foam spillage as a result of the accident at the air park. John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574