Clean-up, water testing underway following crude oil leak in St. Charles County

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – A crude oil spill in St. Charles County has crews looking for the source of the leak.

For the time being, it has also halted pumping on two pipelines in that area.

“They’re bringing in heavy equipment to begin excavating the contaminated soil and staging that for proper disposal. But at the same time, they're trying to excavate down and expose the pipelines to try and determine which pipeline actually leaked," says Brad Harris, the chief of environmental emergency response with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Officials with the Keystone Pipeline and Platte Pipeline are still trying to determine which company is responsible for the leak that caused 1,800 gallons of crude oil to surface near Highway C.

Harris says crews first noticed the spill on Wednesday and started digging on Thursday to try and locate the break.

"There’s no concern for any damage to wildlife, however, there is for groundwater just because it is in the Mississippi River Bottom,” he says. “They'll not only have to deal with contaminated soil, but they'll also have to deal with the contaminated groundwater that’s in that immediate area.”

Harris says clean up and water testing is underway, but he doesn’t have a clear timeline. In the meantime, he’s asking neighbors to keep an eye out.

"Just use their senses. Do they see a sheen on a waterway or do they smell something from quite a distance away? If they do, they need to report that. It could be related to this or it could not be, but if you see something, report something.”

Harris says both companies are complying with the investigation.

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