After more than 1,600 gallons of oil spilled from an oil storage tank into a creek in Trumbull County, OH, sheriff’s department officials said it appears it was an act of vandalism.
Mike Settles of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said they cleaned up all the oil that settled around the tank, but the oil in the stream will take several more days.
Settles said this is because the area is too remote for a truck to access, so workers will have to manually clean it up with absorbent pads.
A resident living along Mahan Denman Road Northeast in Bristolville alerted authorities to a leaking oil storage tank.
“Earlier this morning the EMA director received a call from a resident about a possible spill or a large puddle of oil,” said Kevin Kuriatnyk, Trumbull County Hazmat Team Captain.
When the Bristolville Fire Department arrived on the scene they quickly determined it was in fact an oil spill and oil was flowing down a nearby creek.
Trumbull County Hazmat, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources all ended up called to the scene.
When Hazmat crews arrived, they walked the stream to see just how far the oil had traveled. They walked to a point about 3/4 of a mile from the oil well.
“There are quite a few pockets, natural pockets along where the crude has gathered,” Kuriatnyk said.
Kuriatnyk said those pockets have helped authorities contain the spill.
The EPA has seen no evidence of fish kill and does not believe there is any concern of contaminated drinking water.
“We respond to assist the fire department in mitigating the leak and to contain it until a cleanup crew can come in. EPA is in charge of the clean up to make sure everything is restored to its natural state as much as possible,” Kuriatnyk said.
Police are still investigating the incident and looking for more clues and suspects.