Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Fuel spill threatens wells in Carlisle

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        CARLISLE — A thousand gallons of diesel fuel that spilled from Saturday's wrecked CSX train has not yet polluted neighborhood wells, but officials are taking precautions.

        Officials are concerned about three properties abutting the tracks near the crash site.

        “They may use their (well) water to bathe and wash clothes, but it's not OK to drink or cook with the water,” said CSX Transportation spokesman Gary Wollenhaupt.

        Tests of the residential wells at 7 p.m. Sunday showed good water quality levels, but to be safe, the village of Carlisle is supplying the affected families with bottled water, he said.

        If the spilled fuel moves toward the wells it will be detected by monitors, which will also provide clues as to the direction the spill is moving underground.

        CSX is paying for monitoring and cleanup of the site, which still smells strongly of diesel fumes. A recovery trench has been dug alongside the tracks to collect diesel-contaminated water seeping from surrounding soil.

        Other measures may be needed to break down the diesel into less harmful elements, Mr. Wollenhaupt said.

        The Ohio EPA is supervising the cleanup, along with officials from the Warren County Combined Health District.

        “Our staff geologist is working on the site,” said Dale B. Farmer, on-scene coordinator for the Ohio EPA. “We're taking a team approach with CSX, which is working out very well. They appear to be doing everything they can do.”


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