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Hominy Creek Fuel Spill

Updated: Monday, February 17 2014, 07:11 AM EST
Hartwell Carson, an environmentalist, and the French Broad River Keeper is speaking out about the 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel that leaked from a tank at Harrison Construction on Smoky Park Highway Friday.

"I certainly blame them," said Carson. "I think there were multiple failures."

EPA Official Tim Neal, who came in from Atlanta, confirmed to News 13 a pipe had broken on a 20,000 gallon diesel fuel tank at Harrison.  He said a valve then failed and three thousand gallons spilled out from the tank. The fuel was flowing into Hominy Creek and then into the French Broad.

"We will be working continuously until the spill has been cleaned up," said Todd Quigg, with Harrison Construction.

News Thirteen followed three hired contracted emergency clean-up crews as they looked at the seven locations that booms had been put in to catch the fuel. Fuel was still getting through the mesh booms meant to skim the water's surface and catch the fuel. Saturday night, special larger booms were brought in and installed to add to the clean-up effort.

According to Landon Davison with the division of Water resources, the fuel spilled out across a parking lot, down a storm water ditch, to a basin, through a culvert, and into hominy creek.

A crew working at a quarry next door saw the fuel spilling out of the tank at Harrison construction at 1:30pm Friday.

"Three thousand gallons is a lot of fuel," said Mark Cantrell from North Carolina's Fish and Wildlife division. He came out to Hominy Creek Park to take pictures and see the fuel for himself.

"We're concerned about what it could do to fish and wildlife resources," said Cantrell.

So far water resource officials say there have been no reports of wildlife or fish kill.

by Kimberly King
Follow Kim on Twitter @KimKingReports
Hominy Creek Fuel Spill

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