Today
77°
Rain Showers
92%
Tonight
60°
Chance Rain Showers
44%
Tomorrow
76°
Partly Sunny
14%
Tomorrow Night
56°
Partly Cloudy
9%
Sunday
74°
Partly Sunny
14%
Sunday Night
55°
Partly Cloudy
19%
Monday
72°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
21%
Monday Night
54°
Mostly Clear
11%
Tuesday
75°
Partly Sunny
11%
Tuesday Night
58°
Mostly Clear
8%
Wednesday
80°
Partly Sunny
13%
Wednesday Night
63°
Partly Cloudy
16%
3 Day
Extended
Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Flooding causes fuel tank leak

By Janie Southard

St. Marys city officials are investigating a fuel leak from an underground tank. . .

ST. MARYS - Last week's flooding of the St. Marys River brought with it a leak from an old underground fuel tank. Ohio EPA, the county emergency management office and the city fire department are working together to figure out who will be responsible for the cleanup bill.
A strong fuel odor Wednesday at an old building at 101 East Spring St. caused Ohio Dominion to call in the St. Marys Fire Department to check it out.
"We found a strong diesel odor, but couldn't locate the leak," St. Marys Fire Chief Ken Kline told The Daily Standard on Monday afternoon. "It could have been fuel leaked into the river maybe from the residue on the (South Street) parking lot. We just didn't know at that time."
As the floodwater dropped the odor worsened and fire department personnel were able to locate an abandoned underground tank that obviously had some petroleum product left in it.
The old building is one of several owned by Kalvin Wayne Schanz (through his Counsel Appraisals, Inc.), who has said he was unaware of the underground tank. The Michigan native told officials he carries insurance that covers certain environmental issues.
However, although Schanz owns the building that originally had the strong fuel odor, no one is sure yet who owns the tank because it sits between buildings in the area, according to Kline.
"Kalvin's building did have fuel oil in the basement and it does have mud floors ... We're now running lines to see where (the fuel lines) run, but (fuel) lines in those old buildings make a lot of twists and turns," Kline said.
What is suspected is that one of the outside vent pipes to the tank finally rusted through allowing some flood water to enter the tank. St. Marys Mayor Greg Freewalt pointed out that fuel is lighter than water, "so it rose up and out, mixing in with the river flood."
Kline said contaminated water did overflow onto the parking lot, which is now cleaned up.
"Some flushed down the river, but we don't know how much. It was diluted enough that it shouldn't be a problem," he said.
The chief stressed that cleanup is continuing and there is no explosion hazard.
Additional online stories on this date
Ella Steele counts herself lucky that two men from down the street smelled smoke around 9 a.m. this morning and rescued her from her burning mobile home at Mercelina trailer park. [More]
The Celina girls basketball team ended a 17-year drought on Monday night at the Fieldhouse.
Celina put four girls in double figures and held off Ottawa-Glandorf for a 52-45 win, earning the Bulldogs a share of the Western Buckeye League title. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Software blamed for tax bill errors in Mercer County
Coldwater's wastewater treatment plant holds up under recent flood
Celina woman admits to assault on police officers
Illegal gun owner faces time in prison
Board reviews possible summer projects
City officials want to reconstruct Market Street
Purchase of sewer camera will save city money
Farmers can apply for low interest loans for equipment
Celina's success rests on emphasis of team game
Strong start pushes Flyers past Big Green