Workers continued searching Friday for the source of some type of contaminant that had entered a small waterway that runs under Dunlap Road on the south side of Hillsboro.
Highland County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Bushelman, who was the scene with an Ohio EPA crew, said Friday evening that he believed everything had been contained, but that investigators still were not sure what had leaked into the waterway or exactly where it was coming from.
He said the EPA crew was “moving soil around, looking for the source, and removing any contaminated soil,” on Friday.
Bushelman said the site would be checked on over the weekend and that the EPA would resume work there Monday.
Local emergency responders arrived on the scene, located at the site of a former gas station that is now owned by Hartley Oil, around 3 p.m. Thursday after a citizen reported something unusual in the waterway to the Ohio EPA.
The Highland County EMA, Highland Soil and Water Conservation District and Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District were the first responders on the scene. They placed seven absorbent socks at various locations in the stream while they awaited the EPA’s arrival.
Bushelman said he was on the scene with the EPA until around midnight Thursday and that they were back on the scene around 8 a.m. Friday.
On Thursday evening, Bushelman said that the contaminant was likely diesel fuel or home heating fuel, but Friday he said investigators were not sure what it was.
He said Hartley Oil would likely have to foot the bill for the cleanup, and that while it no longer stores fuel at the site, Hartely Oil does have three trucks that operate out of the location.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.