On April 23, 2005, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KYDEP) responded to a report of an oil spill in Dry Branch (a/k/a Dry Fork Creek) near Fordsville, Ohio Co., KY (NRC #756642). Dry Branch is a tributary within the watershed of the Green River, a navigable water of the U.S. KYDEP responders observed crude oil in the creek caused by an abandoned production well. Sorbent boom was placed in the creek at multiple locations in an attempt to contain the oil spill. On April 25, KYDEP notified the EPA Region 4 Duty Officer and requested federal assistance, citing an inability to finance the required removal activities. OSC Smith was dispatched to respond and mitigate the oil discharge into surface water. Observations by the OSC onscene indicate that the release is a minor discharge as classified under the NCP, and that less than 100 gallons of oil has impacted surface water.
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As of April 28, the oil spill has been contained within a 2,000 ft. section of Dry Branch downstream of the release point, and efforts are underway to plug the leaking well and secure the source of the oil discharge.
On May 5, EPA and the ERRS contractor (CMC, Inc.) demobilized the Site. The OSC determined at that point that the efforts to plug the abandoned well appeared to be successful. The oil discharge from the leaking well and via the subsurface into Dry Branch had diminished significantly. With the conditions stabilized, further active removal efforts were unnecessary. Prior to demobilization, approximately 1,200 gallons of crude oil pumped from the collection sump was hauled to an oil production facility nearby for re-processing.
On June 10, OSC Smith and CMC re-mobilized to the Site. Areas near the well head were excavated and the oil-soaked soils were reclaimed onsite. Disturbed areas were re-graded to promote positive drainage, and the underflow dam was dismantled. Work activities were dramatically affected by the remnants of a tropical storm, and final grading was called off.
On June 13, 2005, all parties demobilized the Site, marking the completion of the oil removal action.