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Crews:Clean up oil spill in Ohio River

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Sydney Benter) -- Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the Ohio River from the Duke Energy Beckjord Power Station in New Richmond.

Part of the river was closed Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, in order to clean up the spill but reopened Tuesday afternoon around 4p.m.  Crews were called to the area about six Tuesday morning but the Coast Guard received initial reports at 12:20 a.m. Duke said the spill started at 11:15 and was stopped at 11:30 p.m.

Duke Energy and officials said around five thousand gallons spilled.

Duke Energy called in an oil spill response organization to clean up the area.  A 16-mile section of the river was closed.  The affected area stretched from the Beckjord power plant to Dayton, Kentucky.

Some of the cleanup was centered at Coney Island. Two-thousand feet of oil containment boom was in the area to collect the oil and direct it to vacuum trucks.

Cincinnati Water Works said it shut down its Ohio River intakes as soon as it was notified of the spill. Water Works said its water quality scientists are monitoring the river, along with the Northern Kentucky Water District. Water Works said it has enough water to continue operating while the intakes were closed. Officials will wait to reopen the intakes until the spill has passed.

Local, state and federal officials worked to determine the cause of the spill and to supervise the cleanup. Duke Energy said it has also contacted Cincinnati Waterworks and Northern Kentucky Waterworks to alert them about municipal water intake.

The EPA is monitoring wildlife and natural resources and estimated the cleanup time to be 24 hours.

The Beckjord plant has been in operation for 60 years.  It was expected to be retired Jan. 1, 2015 because Duke decided not to spend the money to upgrade it to meet new EPA standards.

Click here to watch the EPA press conference

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