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Cleanup of diesel spill underway
CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- Crews are working around the clock to cleanup between 4,000 and 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled into the Ohio River from a Duke Energy plant.
The fuel spilled Monday, August 18th, 204, evening around 11:15 p.m. It flowed for about 15 minutes from the Beckjord Plant in Clermont County. The cause of the spill remains under investigation but human error is being examined as a factor.
"We are accepting full responsibility for the cleanup of this incident. We care deeply about the environment and we're going to stay the course until we have all of it contained," said Sally Thelen, spokesperson for Duke Energy.
Chris Martin and his cousin went to the banks of the Ohio River Tuesday evening to do some fishing. The pair hadn't thought about the diesel spill ruining their trip.
"Just like any oil spill you're going to hurt animals and the ecosystem be it fish or birds," said Martin, who's concerned about the impact on the environment.
The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources is evaluating what the spill means for fish and other wildlife in and along the Ohio. The U.S. EPA is monitoring the cleanup. Booms have been placed in the water to push the fuel to the river bank. As the fuel is corralled it will be vacuumed from the river. A Local 12 News crew found some fuel in the river in Anderson Twp.
"There is sheen, oil sheen on the surface, mainly along the Ohio side and there's pockets of recoverable oil along four collection points where we have crews working," said Steve Renninger of the U.S. EPA.
The city's drinking water comes from the Ohio River. While intake valves have been turned off while the fuel passes, Mayor John Cranley drank a glass of water to prove it is safe.
"Our drinking water, which I am drinking right now, is safe," Mayor Cranley said.
Meanwhile, Chris Martin said he hopes the cleanup will be swift.
"Probably going to make for bad fishing in general," Martin said.
Tuesday afternoon, an EPA spokesperson said 10% of the fuel had been contained.
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