The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) responded to the Oak Glen Nature Preserve Tuesday morning in Colerain Township for an apparent oil leak.
Reports came around 8 p.m. Monday of a petroleum and oil smell in the area. Emergency crews responded and found a significant area with oil, including a stream that had been contaminated.
"As they walked up the stream, they found a break right in line with the regional pipeline that runs through the area," said Steve Conn, spokesperson for the Colerain Fire Department.
Fire officials said their primary concern is not the human impact, but the environmental impact.
EPA officials, Hamilton County park rangers and representatives with pipeline company were on scene assessing the extent of the leak and possible environmental impact.
"This could be a very long, drawn-out process to mitigate it," Conn said. "They have to clean the rocks, get everything cleaned out and pump the oil out. We're obviously very worried about the water supply and the water and making sure it didn't get into that, that it didn't get into the river. If it did, we're talking about a whole other issue."
During a briefing Tuesday morning, EPA spokeswoman Heather Lauer confirmed that one mile of intermittent stream was affected by the spill, which ends in one acre of wetland.
It did not appear that the Great Miami River had been impacted.
The Associated Press reports the pipeline is largely owned by Sunoco Logistics. According to the company's website, its pipelines in the midwest consist of approximately 1,000 miles of a crude oil pipeline that originates in Longview, Texas and passes through Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.
View Sunoco Logisitics' assessment map here.
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