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U.S. EPA Response to the Duke Energy Oil Spill

Pollution/Situation Report (POLREP) #1 (PDF) (5 pp, 12 K About PDF) Aug. 19, 2014

Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 - At noon today, U.S. EPA handed over leadership of the unified command to the Ohio EPA following a helicopter flyover inspection this earlier this morning.

U.S. EPA also approved Duke Energy’s decontamination and waste disposal plan.

Under Ohio EPA's command, monitoring will continue at six recovery points on the Ohio River. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to maintain a safety zone for maritime traffic.

Contact Information

For information about EPA’s response please contact public affairs officer Francisco Arcaute at 312-886-7613.

Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 - On day two of the emergency response to Duke Energy’s oil spill in the Ohio River, U.S. EPA continues to lead the cleanup with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Ohio EPA, the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection and Pierce Township (Ohio). U.S. EPA is also directing and overseeing all Duke Energy’s response efforts.

Responders report excellent progress. Yesterday’s heavy rains washed oil from the river banks into six collection points along the river between New Richmond, Ohio, and the 471 bridge. Responders are taking a phased approach --first recovering oil from the river and then cleaning up the shoreline. So far, approximately 1,000 gallons of diesel and contaminated water have been recovered.

Most of the sheen between New Richmond and Cincinnati has dissipated, but sheen is still visible on the Cincinnati side of the river.

The oil spill has had minimal impact on wildlife.

Yesterday, the U.S. Coast Guard reopened the river to vessel traffic.

Drinking water intakes have been reopened in the Greater Cincinnati area and Northern Kentucky.

U.S. EPA Serving as On-Scene Coordinator in Emergency Response to Ohio River Oil Spill

Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is serving as the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for the emergency response to an oil spill that occurred last night when approximately 3500 gallons of diesel fuel was released into the Ohio River from Duke Energy’s Beckjord power plant. Twenty-four hour operations are underway to contain and clean up oil along a 12 mile stretch of the Ohio River immediately upstream from Cincinnati.

U.S. EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard and Ohio EPA quickly mobilized and are taking a series of steps to minimize the damage this spill does to the Ohio River and surrounding communities. U.S. EPA is on the scene to ensure the leaked oil is contained and cleaned up as quickly and effectively as possible.

U.S. EPA has established a unified command with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Pierce Township. U.S. EPA is directing response efforts carried out by Duke Energy. Under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, U.S. EPA has the responsibility for inland oil spills.

Boom was deployed in the Ohio River to contain the spill. Sheen extends approximately 12 miles from Duke’s plant down the Ohio River toward Cincinnati. The U.S. Coast Guard closed 15 miles of the river to vessel traffic.

As a precaution, the Greater Cincinnati Waterworks and the Northern Kentucky Water District each closed drinking water intakes on the Ohio River. The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission is conducting water sampling on the river.

U.S. EPA is responding to the spill of an unknown volume of oil into the Ohio River from Duke Energy's Beckjord Station about 20 miles east of Cincinnati, Ohio.

8/19/2014: Boom deployed next to Duke Energy’s W.C. Beckjord facility.

8/19/2014: Sheen visible along the north bank of the Ohio River.

8/19/2014: Persistent sheen at marina, at end of cleanup zone 6.

8/19/2014: Cleanup Zone 4: Recoverable oil along Ohio bank, Coney Island amusement park in background.

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