The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday said it continues the response to the release of approximately 4,200 gallons of heating oil Monday in Philadelphia.
DEP Emergency Response is on site, working with the US Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, the City of Philadelphia, Century Link (Operator) and Miller Environmental (Contractor).
Clean-up efforts began early this morning and will continue throughout the day.
The contractor has been successful in using vacuum trucks to get much of the oil out of the river and will continue working throughout the day. They will also begin working to identify the path of oil from the tank to the river; this will involve digging up snow and soil to try and determine where the oil traveled. CSX Rail will be re-routing their rail traffic from this area to accommodate cleanup efforts.
While the path remains unconfirmed at this time, a sewer manhole was discovered along the Schuylkill Trail. The cover was not able to be lifted due to weather conditions, but readings have shown high levels of contaminants and a piece of absorbent material stuck into the manhole came out red in color.
A search conducted on the building side of the CSX tracks located a manhole cover as well, although responders were unable to monitor the air or probe the manhole.
DEP will be working with the U.S. Coast Guard on a Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT), which is used to determine the extent and impact of the oil spill.
Based on current assessment, the water portion of the cleanup is expected to be completed by the end of the week, while the land clean up timeline is indeterminate at this time.
At this time, there have been no fish kills associated with the spill reported.Public safety inquiries should be directed to the Philadelphia Water Department. All downstream users and industrial intakes have been notified and are taking the necessary precautions.