Norfolk Southern taking responsibility for fuel spill


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Officials say the 1,000-gallon fuel spill into Citico Creek originated from Norfolk Southern’s DeButts Yard.

Norfolk Southern is taking responsibility and has hired several remediation companies to clean-up the spill.

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Chattanooga Fire and Emergency Services first responded to the call at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Because of the extent of the spill, they called the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and the Coast Guard to help contain the leak and determine its cause.

“They’ve been out all night and all morning working to contain that spill,” Chattanooga Fire Bruce Garner said.

The petroleum was bleeding into the creek and headed straight towards the Tennessee river.

Hazmat crews worked through the night, containing the spill to the creek as much as they could.

Now, HEPACO, an environmental clean-up service, is pumping the oil from the creek.

However, some did leak into the river.

“They’re working on cleaning up Citico Creek, I’m not sure what the process will be after that,” Garner said.

Tennessee American Water says the spill is no threat to Chattanooga drinking water supply, but they utilizing powdered activated carbon as a precaution to eliminate possible contaminants from the river water.

“We’re going to have a lot of emergency vehicles and environmental clean up vehicles and equipment coming in and out while the clean up takes place,” Garner said. “So until we get that done we’re asking everyone to steer clear of the area.”

Crews have closed off the Riverwalk just west of the Boathouse restaurant until clean-up is complete. Officials expect the remediation to take several days.