Kentucky River Oil Spill Cleanup Hits a Snag

Feb. 2, 2005

Part of last week’s initial 63,000-gallon crude oil spill on the Kentucky River continues to drift down the Ohio River after debris struck a containment area Monday morning.

Cleanup crews hurried to deploy three additional booms near the convergence of the two rivers after the Kentucky River swelled two feet and sent tree limbs and other large debris lurching down the river, breaking up the primary containment area on the river.

A oil pipeline rupture on Jan. 26 started the problem. The pipeline runs 1,072 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to refineries in northwest Ohio, and carries about 180,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

In addition, Louisville's water company is detecting oil at its water intakes along the Ohio River in Kentucky. On Friday, Louisville Water Company treated the water to remove any taste or odor resulting from the oil spill, assuring customers they should not notice a difference at the tap. The city's drinking water is drawn from the Ohio River.

Last week’s spill caused an oil slick about 12 miles long in the Kentucky River. Workers immediately took action to contain it by employing a series of booms designed to collect the oil.

They had skimmed 36,000 gallons of oil and water from the Kentucky River by Friday afternoon, and were making progress collecting the rest until Monday’s mishap.

Cleanup crews conducted an aerial assessment yesterday to find recoverable oil along the Ohio River.

Officials are concentrating on an area on the Ohio River's east bank – about three miles downstream from its confluence with the Kentucky River.

Source: The Cincinnati Post, The Associated Press