Archive for Tuesday, December 14, 1999

AUTHORITIES ASSESSING DIESEL FUEL LEAK NEAR CLINTON LAKE

December 14, 1999

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Emergency crews spent much of Monday afternoon assessing possible damage from diesel fuel that leaked into a dry stream bed near Clinton Lake.

It wasn't known how much diesel fuel was spilled, but authorities speculated it may have been 10 to 20 gallons.

The leak occurred Sunday, but wasn't reported until Monday, when a passerby noticed the smell of the fuel, authorities said.

The fuel leaked from piping connected to pump at a rock quarry owned by Hunt Midwest Mining Inc., officials said.

The quarry is located at 1400 E. 700, on the north side of the lake.

Dave Rhoades, park manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said authorities on Monday made sure the leak was shut off and were assessing damage to a half-mile section of stream bed.

"There's such small amounts, it's kind of hard to tell how much was spilled," he said.

It wasn't known if any fuel made it into Clinton Lake.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical crews set up two floating barriers/filters across the stream bed. The filters will absorb any fuel that that is present, said Fire & Medical Battalion Chief Jerry Karr.

Although the leak occurred on private land, the fuel spread to land that is administered by the Corps of Engineers and leased by the state.

The stream bed is located in the state park area of the lake, Rhoades said.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which had a representative present on Monday, will return today to the scene and making assessments, Rhoades said.

Rhoades said that by the time authorities were able to arrive on the scene about 4 p.m. Monday, there wasn't enough light to check out the entire area.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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