Emergency crews respond to diesel spill in water stream

MONETTE, AR (KAIT)- A leaking fuel tank in Craighead County is responsible for a massive diesel spill in Monette.  Authorities tell Region 8 news a fuel tank attached to a water pump has leaked about 200 gallons of diesel fuel into a ditch and now the cleanup is underway.

"We started searching and we worked our way back up the ditch until we found a farm well that the fuel tank is leaking," said Director of the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management David Moore.

Moore said a split fuel line of the 500 gallon fuel tank is the source of the spill.

"We don't feel it was near full this time of year.  There could still be two or three hundred gallons though so it is still going to be a considerable spill," said Moore.

The rainbow color of the water is the fuel floating down stream.  A crew has to analyze where the ditch leads to so they know where to go to head it off.

"Our main concern right now is contamination of the waterways because this ditch leads into a larger one which leads into the St. Francis River," said Moore.

A clean up crew from Mississippi arrived Saturday afternoon to start the cleaning process.  They are using a device called a boom that floats on top of the water just like the fuel to soak up the diesel.  In addition to cleaning the water, the cleanup crew must also clean up the area where the leak started.

"There at the spill site itself you're going to have to remove the contaminated soil," said Moore.

The cleanup could take several days and the authorities say the owner of the fuel tank will be financially responsible for the cost of the cleanup.

Moore told Region 8 news the split fuel line is suspicious so he contacted the Craighead County Sheriff's Department about the situation.  It will be up to that office whether or not this case will be investigated any further.

While this spill doesn't pose any danger to humans, Moore said it could have a bad impact on the environment.

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