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Local, state, federal agencies respond to fuel leak in Monroe

Emergency response and remedial activities continue as local, state and federal agencies investigate a diesel fuel leak that impacted Tenmile Creek in Monroe County, Michigan.

An investigation by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs identified the source as a leaking diesel fuel line at a Pilot Travel Center gas station north of US 223. So far, more than 138,000 gallons of mixed oil and water has been collected between the North Tenmile outfall and onsite catch basins; of that, about 8,000 gallons has been identified as pure petroleum product. This water will be treated or disposed of properly.

EGLE and EPA have directed contractors to collect drinking water samples along the creek today from residential wells identified by the local health department to ensure they were not affected by the release.

Responders have been onsite since March 22, when EGLE received a notice from the U.S. National Response Center about a sheen from an unknown source on Tenmile Creek.

On March 26, EGLE requested EPA assistance to identify the source of the diesel fuel, and to help with downstream containment and recovery operations. EPA arrived later that day to begin removing pooled diesel via vacuum trucks into holding tanks.

The pathway of contamination into the creek led to a storm sewer outfall near the southwest corner of US 23 and US 223 interchange. EPA staff placed absorbent boom at the outfall upon arrival, then attempted tracking the source via storm sewer systems in the area.

The Monroe County Health Department has issued an advisory to avoid areas of diesel, and stated residents near the creek can request testing of their private drinking water well. Please refer to Monroe County Health Department for the latest information regarding private well sampling in the immediate area.

Remediation work continues onsite to prevent further spread of the diesel to Tenmile Creek:

  • Contractors are collecting diesel below on-site concrete and have blocked storm sewer outlets to North Tenmile.
  • EGLE and EPA are working with Pilot and their contractors to remove the diesel below the concrete as quickly as possible. Collection and containment boom in the creek will remain in place until the source is controlled. EPA and EGLE plan to stay on-site until the source is cleaned up and threats to the environment are controlled.
  • Plans are in development to remove potentially contaminated sediment in Tenmile Creek.

EPA has established a webpage for the response.

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