Kanawha County spring trout release postponed after crude oil spill at Blue Creek

CEDAR GROVE, W.Va. — State and local emergency officials in Kanawha County are monitoring the water quality along Blue Creek after an oil spill was reported Sunday in the Cedar Grove area.

C.W. Sigman

Kanawha County Emergency Services Director C.W. Sigman said a valve was found opened on a crude oil storage tank along Spangler Road and potentially dumped thousands of gallons of oil into the creek; however, no product was found in the water.

“It looks like somebody broke into a valve box and opened the valve,” Sigman told MetroNews on Monday. “It was a pretty good size oil leak. I’m not sure how many gallons, but the tank holds over 6,000 gallons from what I was told.”

Crews with Kanawha County EMS, Cedar Grove Volunteer Fire Department and state Department of Environmental Protection located the tank on Spangler Road and were able to close the valve immediately.

Sigman said officials checked Sunday and Monday from Sanderson and downstream to the Elk River and did not notice any visible evidence.

“There is some oil in the stream in the Spangler area, but we have checked downstream through Sanderson and the mouth of Blue Creek and it looks okay so far,” he said.

Sigman also said there were no odors, no fish kills or any other dead aquatic life.

Booms have been placed in several locations and heavy equipment has been moved in to clean up the oil.

West Virginia American Water Company was notified of the situation and sent a representative to the site. The company is currently monitoring the river.

Sigman said there is no threat to the public or to drinking water and that well water will continue to be tested.

“There are a few families in the Spangler area that do not have West Virginia American Water and do have wells, so we’ve notified the health department and they’re going to make arrangement to test those wells to make sure they’re okay,” Sigman said.

Kanawha County’s spring trout release along the Elk River in Clendenin was supposed to take place Monday, but out of an abundance of caution due to the spill, the event has been postponed to Tuesday morning. More trout stocking will take place in Blue Creek after that.

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