Delaware oil cleanup costs to top $1.2 million : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Oil cleanup costs to top $1.2 million By JEFF MONTGOMERY Staff reporter 04/12/2000

Conectiv expects to spend at least $1.2 million to contain and clean up a 600,000-gallon oil spill at its Indian River Power Plant near Millsboro, company officials said Tuesday.

During an afternoon news briefing, utility managers reported that work crews had recovered 104,000 gallons of diesel fuel and finished installing a second barrier to protect the Indian River from the oil.

State regulators and utility officials in early March reported that the oil leaked over eight to 12 years from a buried 2-inch diesel fuel pipeline at the riverside power complex.

Conectiv said Tuesday that work crews had installed a containment wall between the plant and river by sinking 101 steel sheets into the ground, each 3 feet wide and 15 feet tall.

At the river's edge, absorbent booms and a 180-foot filter box strain any oil still seeping from the river bank.

"Right now we're ahead of schedule," said Jim Spence, the plant's manager. "We have been very aggressive in pursuing this."

Spence said the company expected to continue operating recovery pumps for three years. Cleanup plans for contaminated soils that remain have not been finalized, he said.

Company employees discovered the broken fuel line in mid-December, but plant officials said they were unaware of the size of the spill.

Hints of the leak's magnitude surfaced in February, when oil began seeping from the banks of the Indian River, more than 200 feet from the site of the leaking pipe.

"We're not focusing on the cost," said Jim Weller, Conectiv vice president for energy generation. "We're going to spend whatever it takes to do what we need to do to fix this thing."

-- Martin Thompson (, April 13, 2000

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