Fuel spill clean-up under way

By Chuck Weber email

THE ACREAGE, PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX)-A fuel spill clean-up is under way in the Acreage. A contractor started work Thursday, removing contaminated soil. The worst of the spill-- a black petroleum slick lying on water in a swale-- will require special equipment. The contractor is expected to return and continue working, possibly Friday.

The mess was created when two semi- trucks carrying sugar, crashed Sunday morning on Seminole Pratt Whitney Road. 50 to 80 gallons of diesel fuel spilled, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Some neighbors wondered why it took four days to start the clean-up. "With it soaking down into the ground," exclaimed James Nappier, "the water wells are only 20 feet deep here. That's drinking water. And we've got a cancer cluster going on out here."

The DEP says it is sensitive to the situation in the Acreage. A DEP spokeswoman says her agency inspected the site the day after the crash and classifies this as a routine contamination. The DEP says it is the trucking company's responsibility to hire the cleaning contractor and finish work in 60 days.