Winter weather puts diesel spill cleanup on hold

This winter weather is keeping a cleanup on hold at Shunga Creek, where there was a diesel spill last week.

The creek is frozen and that’s helping to stop the spill from spreading, but it’s making it nearly impossible for crews to clean up the mess.

Geologist with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Tom Winn says they got involved in the investigation last week. This week, they found the source of the problem – at Haag Oil Company about .3 miles away.

“It was in a trailer that was in the corner of their lot and they don’t really visit that trailer very often,” Winn says, “Its for reclamation fuel, when it gets full, they take it to Kansas City to be reclaimed.”

Winn thinks the diesel spilled from their property for about a day.

“They are responsible for paying for the cleanup and that’s what they’re doing right now.”

The problem now is the creek is frozen over.

“The ice is keeping it from going any further but we are waiting for a good thaw to do a thorough recovery,” Winn adds.

He says crews are waiting for warmer temperatures to melt the ice so they can get to work.

“We’ll try to back it up behind booms in the creek and then use a vaccum truck to try to recover it off the surface of the water,” Winn says.

In the meantime, KDHE says there are no health hazards to the public or wildlife in the area.

We reached out to Haag Oil for comment but owner Gary Haag did not immediately call back.

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