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Diesel Fuel Leaks Into Fox River

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Fox River, Elgin

The Fox River (Credit: CBS)

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AURORA, Ill. (STMW) - Approximately 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the Federal Aviation Administration facility in west suburban Aurora Wednesday morning.

The city of Aurora said the spill presents no danger to the public water supply.

Several departments from the city, along with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, were working with a hazardous materials firm Wednesday evening to clean up the spill at 619 W. Indian Trail.

At approximately 1 a.m., FAA officials informed the Aurora Fire Department that a small amount of fuel, between 20 and 100 gallons, had overflowed through the top of a malfunctioning underground fuel storage tank onto the pavement and into a Fox Metro Water District sanitary sewer.

Since a spill of that size would be categorized as small and did not necessitate an immediate cleanup, fire personnel informed Fox Metro and plans were made to address it later in the morning, the city said.

At around 10 a.m., FAA officials informed the city that the spill was actually between 1,000 and 1,500 gallons, and that it did flow into a city storm sewer, which discharges into the nearby Fox River. FAA officials later put the spill at 1,459 gallons.

Upon receiving the revised information from the FAA, the city dispatched crews from the Fire, Water and Sewer, and Water Production departments and notified the IEPA.

The FAA contracted with a private, IEPA-approved environmental mitigation firm, which soon arrived. Absorbent booms were placed at the entrances and exits of the affected storm sewer lines in order to absorb the fuel.

However, an unknown quantity of fuel entered the Fox River at Sullivan Road, resulting in an approximate 8-foot-wide sheen on the river’s west bank that extended for approximately 1.5 miles.

The city said the natural flow of the river confined the spill to the opposite side of the river from the water treatment plant, and there was no danger to the city’s water supply. Cleanup efforts will continue throughout the night, the city said.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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