Location of pipeline leak found, 1,098 barrels recovered in Posey County

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Today is the third day of clean-up efforts in Posey County after a diesel fuel spill in Big Creek.

A Marathon spokesperson says they have found the source of the leak on a pipeline that dumped 42,000 gallons of fuel into the creek. He says recovery efforts are ongoing.

Local environmental groups say those efforts need to extend far beyond the initial cleanup efforts.

“The oil company needs to be fully transparent about what happened here,” says Niles Rosenquist, Southwest Indiana Sierra Club Chair.

Marathon told Eyewitness News there is currently no threat to neighbors’ drinking water, or aquatic life.

Advocacy groups believe long-term analysis is necessary.

“Wildlife impacts, aquatic life impacts, not just fish kills but the entire complex biological system in a river….these are things that need to be looked at in the weeks and months ahead,” says Rosenquist.

Others think we should focus on the bigger picture.

“It seems to be there are several oil-related issues in northwestern Posey County, where this particular spill occurred.”

John Blair of Valley Watch is referring to another fuel spill in April 2016, when a Marathon pipeline leaked fuel near the Indiana-Illinois state border. The EPA announced yesterday that Marathon will pay $335,000 in penalties for that spill.

Still, advocates say a closer look should be taken at the pipeline, which runs from Robinson, Illinois to Mount Vernon, Indiana.

“This is a scary proposition when it gets down to it, because we’re at the end of the pipeline…literally.”

Marathon says the next step is to repair the leak. Emergency crews are currently meeting to figure out the best solution.

Marathon told Eyewitness News that the leak is now isolated, and they believe almost all fuel has been recovered.

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(This story was originally published on March 23, 2018.)

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