8/19/14
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MEDIA CONTACT: Heidi Griesmer

Ohio EPA Continues Coordinating Clean-up Efforts of Ohio River Fuel Oil Spill

All Ohio Drinking Water Intakes Secured After Spill Near New Richmond

COLUMBUS – Ohio EPA is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, local officials and private sector clean-up contractors to begin cleaning up the spill of between 4,000 and 8,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Ohio River from Duke Energy’s Beckjord plant near New Richmond in Clermont County. An Ohio EPA on-scene coordinator reported to the scene early this morning to help oversee the cleanup and containment devices have been installed in the river.

After notification of the spill around midnight Tuesday, the water quality alert system for the Ohio River was activated and all Ohio River drinking water intakes in Ohio were sealed off. The Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) shut down its water intakes around 12:50 a.m. and monitoring of the water entering the system prior to shut-down showed that there had been no contamination. GCWW has dispatched crews to various locations along the river to sample water quality. The city’s elevated drinking water storage is full.

The Coast Guard has shut down a 15-mile section of the river to allow boat crews to search for any fuel oil that can be vacuumed and recovered.

Ohio EPA will provide additional information as it becomes available.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.


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