31K gallons of oil and water mix collected in Colerain spill cleanup

EPA Photo: Aerial view of the spill site.
EPA Photo: Aerial view of the spill site.
File Photo: EPA on-scene coordinator Steve Renninger
File Photo: EPA on-scene coordinator Steve Renninger

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Workers with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are continuing to clean up the oil leak at Oak Glen Nature Preserve in Colerain Township that happened earlier this week.

So far they have collected more than 31,600 gallons of an oil and water mixture.

A unified command of 200 crew members from federal, state, and local government agencies as well as private industry are continuing the round-the-clock cleanup.

Steve Renninger, on-scene coordinator from the EPA, says they anticipate nearly 25,000 gallons of oil to be released from the burst pipeline, what the EPA considers a "medium" spill.

Siphoned dams yesterday were set up to continue cleanup. Crews are conducting water flushing operations, which Renninger describes as an effort to move the oil down the creek to be contained in the dams.

"We are seeing a lot of progress … the pond yesterday look better than the day before," said Renninger.

One mile of creek that pours in to the pond has been affected by the spill. The oil has been contained to the pond, staying out of the Great Miami River, according to Renninger.

Area residents have expressed concern for the safety of the drinking water and wildlife on the Nature Preserve.

"Everything is being done to minimize risks," said Colerain Township Fire Captain Steve Conn, who indicates that water samples are being tested daily and continue to come back clean.

Captain Conn said animal wildlife rescuers are on scene, but thankfully the cold weather has kept much of the wildlife from migrating in to the area this season.

Colerain Township Authorities say the cause of the break in the pipeline continues to be investigated.

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