5,000 Gallons of Fuel Spilled into Ohio River, Water Supply Remains Safe

The State Journal
19 August 2014
By Sarah Tincher, Energy Reporter

During a routine transfer of fuel oil at its W.C. Beckjord Station, located in New Richmond, Ohio, approximately 5,000 gallons of fuel was discharged into the Ohio River between 11:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Aug. 18, Duke Energy announced.

Local, state and environmental agencies, along with the Coast Guard were promptly notified. Northern Kentucky Water District and Greater Cincinnati Water Works also were notified to take appropriate action, according to the release.

"We notified state and local authorities of the incident and have been working with them throughout the overnight hours," said Chuck Whitlock, Duke Energy president of Midwest Commercial Generation and vice president of gas operations. "We have cleanup crews on site that are identifying the appropriate actions that will be needed to remediate."

As a precautionary measure, Greater Cincinnati Water Works and the Northern Kentucky Water District immediately shut down the Ohio River intakes to ensure water safety, both companies announced. Due to reserves, the companies have been able continue operating while the intakes are down.

When the intakes are reopened, both companies said they have the ability to utilize powdered activated carbon and granular activated carbon treatment processes to serve as an additional barrier to prevent this material from getting into our water system.

"GCWW water quality scientists are continuously monitoring the Ohio River, in conjunction with the Northern Kentucky Water District, in order to keep the water supply safe and protect the public health," GCWW said in a statement.