An unsuccessful pump control caused more than 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked Saturday from a generator at the Plum Island Sewage Treatment Plant on James Island, some of which seeped into the marsh. around.
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Charleston Water System spokesman Mike Saia said wastewater treatment workers noticed a leak as the sun rose and called for reinforcements to begin cleaning up the spill. About 20% of the fuel flows into the marsh and about 1% of the diesel is still there, he said.
The contractors begin work at 9am to begin the cleanup process, which Saia is expected to take about a week.
Saia said water system employees recorded more than 3,000 gallons of missing diesel fuel from the backup generator, where pump control failed. They pounded Dill Creek to prevent fuel from flowing down its path.
The state’s Ministry of Health and Environmental Control and the Coast Guard were at the scene in the afternoon, and Saia said the system also notified the Environmental Protection Agency.”Although some fuel is still on land, floodwaters and storm surges could quickly wash away the toxins from the swamp,” said Andrew Wunderley of the Charleston Waterkeeper. The swamp’s native wildlife can be affected, as well as fish that rely on those creatures for food.
It is too early to say what the effects will be, Wunderley said.
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While smaller fuel spills are common in the region, thousands of gallons at the same time will affect other ecosystems with the steady combination of boating fuel accidents.
“It’s hard to know exactly what will happen because it’s so dynamic,” Wunderley said. “The marsh in that area didn’t look healthy; it’s bare, brown, a bit thin … but hopefully it quickly. Hope that the cleaning is thorough ”.
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Diesel’s Green Label is part of the company’s “For a Responsible Life” sustainability strategy that the company announced earlier this year, based on four main pillars: Be a surrogate, represent the planet, Personal Honoring and Promoting Integrity. This month, Diesel strengthened its commitment to sustainability by joining the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).