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ST. MARYS — Clean-up crews are in the process of determining the cause — and exact location — of a crude oil leak east of St. Marys.
Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson received a phone call Friday night regarding a strong odor. When he arrived on the scene — near the area of Plattner Pike and Ohio 29 — he said he knew the source of the odor.
"I was able to determine it was crude oil and it was coming from out in the oil well field," Anderson told The Evening Leader Saturday morning. "We are still trying to figure out the exact source of the leak. We know it's in the oil fields and we have product coming out of one of the tanks. Right now, we are trying to figure out what went wrong and how much product was released."
Crews laid out booms to soak up the leaking crude oil. Anderson said the odor, while strong, does not pose a health risk to residents in the area.
"The product did get into the waterway, but we were able to deploy booms and we got it stopped before it went into the St. Marys River," Anderson said. "Residents in the area will get a strong odor, but it's nothing to be concerned with. We have monitors and sensors out and we are making sure the levels are safe, and they are. The only levels that we have that are heavy are the ones where we are working on finding the product."
Anderson said he expects crews to have the leak contained by mid-afternoon.
"We are trying to get it contained before the rains come," Anderson said. "It could wash into the river, and that's why we have the environmental crews on site doing a lot of excavating. I feel confident that we will have it contained and under control by this afternoon."