Authorities: Colerain Twp. oil spill poses no health threats

This is a view of crude oil floating on an unnamed pond Tuesday. Provided by EPA.
This is a view of crude oil floating on an unnamed pond Tuesday. Provided by EPA.

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A number of local and national agencies are working to clean up and determine the cause of an oil spill in Colerain Township.

The spill was discovered Monday night on the Oak Glen Nature Preserve.

The Environmental Protection Agency says about 10,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from a underground pipeline traveling nearly a mile through a creek before pooling into a pond.

Steve Renninger with the EPA says the Ohio Department of Transportation is working to determine what caused the spill.

The EPA Hamilton County Health Department, Colerain Township Fire Department, Oak Glen Nature Preserve representatives and pipe line officials have set up a command post less than a mile from the site of the spill.

So far, authorities are saying this spill poses no immediate health threat to those living in the area but it's not keeping them from being curious as to how and why this happened.

On a windy day in the country, mother nature can bring you call kinds of smells but the strong odor of diesel fuel Tuesday afternoon caught Ron Worsley's attention.

"You can still smell a little bit in the house. My wife says she (smelled) it a few days ago. I didn't really smell it until this morning. Never really thought about the pipeline until all the companies starting showing up,"  Worsley said.

"The good news is it is contained. The bad news is it's still a mile of creek impacted. It is going to be a big clean up," Renninger said. "We have crude oil on the pond. We have several vacuum trucks working now to recover that oil."

The Ohio Department of Transportation is the agency investigating the cause of the spill but as of Tuesday night had no official cause of the pipeline rupture.

"It is a 20-inch pipeline. It has been excavated around that. It is really laying in a pool of crude oil at this point so I cannot see a break but we will have more information by tomorrow," Renninger said.

The EPA estimates it will take at least a week to get the oil cleaned up. It will likely take much longer than that to get the environment back to normal.

The EPA says luckily no fish live in the creek and few organisms inhabit the pond but they will spend much of the next few weeks testing several areas that could have been affected. The Hamilton County Health Department spent the day take air samples.

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