Cleanup of Apple Creek tributary nearly complete

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

PERRY COUNTY, Mo. -- An environmental cleanup of a drainage ditch and unnamed tributary to Apple Creek in southern Perry County was virtually complete Monday afternoon, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The clean-up was needed after a truck from Star Transport Inc. of Morton, Ill., had an accident and spilled approximately 100 gallons of paint and 50 gallons of diesel into a drainage ditch adjacent to an access road in southern Perry County near the Cape Girardeau County border early Thursday morning.

By Monday afternoon an environmental cleanup contractor had removed 8,000 gallons of water contaminated with paint and diesel from the tributary, along with two dump trucks of soil from the crash site, said DNR spokesman Larry Archer. The contractor will return to the site soon to remove more contaminated soil, Archer said.

Archer said DNR believes the contaminants went about a mile and a quarter downstream in the tributary, but didn't make it into Apple Creek itself.

Cleaning up the spill was a challenge because the paint mixed with the water, unlike many other chemicals, like diesel fuel, that will float on top of water. Archer said some contamination remains, but DNR will allow natural processes to flush that contamination out of the creek without affecting aquatic life. No fish kills were associated with the spill.

MoDOT crews will work to restore the side of the access road where the accident happened.

335-6611, extension 182

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