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Fuel reaching Catfish Creek near Peosta appears limited

PEOSTA – Cleanup of Monday’s diesel spill near Peosta will take weeks or months, but the amount of diesel fuel that reached Catfish Creek appears limited according to the DNR.

“The large BP storage tank is now empty, and most of the diesel fuel was retained in an area around the tank. BP has environmental contractors and cleanup crews working around the clock to recover fuel that was retained at the site,” said Tom McCarthy, DNR inspector.

BP reports they’ve recovered almost 40,000 gallons of the estimated 60,900 gallons of leaked fuel, and that number is expected to climb as recovery efforts continue.

“All indications show that little fuel reached the creek. There are absorbent booms crossing the creek at five different locations downstream. Fuel has been detected at only two of them: at Cottingham Road and near Mines of Spain,” McCarthy said. “You can’t see or smell diesel at either of those locations since the absorbent booms were changed on Monday.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and BP have been monitoring water and air quality at the creek. 

DNR fisheries biologists say fish in the stream may be safe to eat, but they do not recommend it at this time.

BP staff discovered the leak from an aboveground bulk storage tank at 9:20 a.m. Aug. 6 at their facility on Old Highway Road, Peosta.

The DNR will continue to monitor cleanup activities. DNR will also consider appropriate enforcement action.

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