Cleanup of oil spill continues in Bristol

BRISTOL – Cleanup of the May 1 crude oil spill from a tank on Mahan Denman Road was turned over to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Sunday after the state EPA ran out of funding for its contractor.

Ohio EPA spokesman Mike Settles said the department’s contract with a company called Chemtron – which covers more than the Bristol spill – ran out before the Bristol cleanup could be completed, so the problem was turned over to the federal agency.

Settles said that as of Sunday, about two thirds of the 1,680 gallons that had leaked out of the tank were removed.

The Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office believes the spill to have been intentional.

The first 800 gallons were easy to address as they had run into a basin by the tank, Settles said. The oil that flowed into a nearby creek has been more difficult to remove. Using absorbent pads and walking through the creek, workers have been able to remove between 200 and 400 gallons of the crude oil.

Settles said the oil traveled about a mile downstream.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is also continuing its portion of the cleanup, focusing on the soil and vegetation that was affected.

Finding who is responsible for the spill is just as difficult as cleaning it up.

“Unless someone comes in and says so, it’s going to be almost impossible,” Sheriff’s Maj. Tom Stewart said.

Stewart said at the time that family members had been arguing over royalties at the well and that may have been why the valve was opened.

No charges have been filed at this time.

The property is owned by Percy Tenney, who was in the hospital recovering from surgery when the incident happened.