BROOKHAVEN, Pa. (CBS) – As crews work to clean up a massive fuel spill in Delaware County, it’s now causing environmental problems in other nearby areas. Chopper 3 was on the scene at Brookhaven.
Investigators say a gas station spill is to blame, but the exact details are still unclear.
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“For now, we need to understand how this happened and make sure it is not going to continue to happen,” said Representative Mary Gay Scanlon.
Many questions remain to be answered as to what led to a massive fuel leak on Saturday morning. Local, state, county and federal officials toured the area surrounding Coebourn Elementary School in Brookhaven with first responders and emergency teams on Sunday morning.
“Right now, we’re basically in the clean-up and monitoring stage to make sure it’s safe for all residents of the borough,” said Brookhaven Fire Chief. , Rob Montella.
Officials say the leak began Friday night from the Gas n Go station on Edgmont Avenue. They say a tanker was filling the underground tank when it happened.
Authorities are trying to determine the amount of fuel spilled.
One of them told Eyewitness News that up to 5,000 gallons could have spilled.
It is not clear whether the spill occurred underground or at the top of the tank at ground level.
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The sidewalk areas around the tank area appeared to be stained with fuel and an on-site inspector said the 10,000 gallon tank was full.
The spill is also causing concern in a neighboring area of Brookhaven Road. The spill reached a small stream that passes behind many houses.
Officials say there are also wildlife issues. Dozens of fish, frogs and turtles have been killed.
There are also concerns about vegetation.
The Delaware County District Attorney said criminal charges could be filed.
“Whoever is responsible, at the end of the investigation, we will see if he broke our laws and if we can bring him to justice,” said prosecutor Jack Stollsteimer.
Due to the fuel leak, Penn Delco’s Facebook page reports that Coeburn Elementary will be running virtual classes on Monday and Tuesday.
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The DEP told Eyewitness News that it has also set up a protective dam downstream. They keep an eye out for more contaminated water if it starts to rain.