DHEC: Rock Hill kerosene spill came from storage tank

adouglas@heraldonline.comJanuary 7, 2014 

It could take up to two weeks for environmental cleanup workers to rid a small creek of contaminants from Sunday’s kerosene spill near Confederate Park in Rock Hill.

State environmental officials and the federal Environmental Protection Agency will oversee cleanup of the spill at Wilkerson Fuel Co. on Pendleton Street. A contractor, Highlands Environmental Solutions, is expected to monitor affected soil and water for up to three months.

Highlands Environmental Solutions is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Few details have been released about what caused the spill on Sunday. The Herald could not reach Wilkerson Fuel officials on Tuesday. An employee who answered the phone on Tuesday afternoon said the company was “not interested” in commenting.

The kerosene spill apparently originated from an above-ground storage tank, said Jim Beasley, spokesman for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Company officials believe about 1,500 gallons were released on Sunday, he said.

Rock Hill police and firefighters responded to the spill. Traffic was blocked for several hours along Pendleton Street, from Annafrel to Confederate streets.

On Monday, contractors arrived to begin cleanup. The work continued on Tuesday around the creek and the Confederate Park area.

Wilkerson Fuel is located about one block from Confederate Park.

Federal laws require that the “responsible party” notify DHEC when any spill impacts waterways, Beasley said. In this case, Highlands Environmental Solutions notified environmental officials on Wilkerson’s behalf.

DHEC will monitor the cleanup, he said, to ensure it complies with state environmental control rules.

Until an investigation is complete, Beasley said, he could not comment on whether DHEC or the EPA would fine the company.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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