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5,000-6,000 Gallons Of Gas Spilled Into Washington County Stream

By: KDKA-TV's Erika Stanish

WASHINGTON COUNTY (KDKA) — Cleanup is underway after 5,000 to 6,000 gallons of gas spilled into a stream in Washington County, authorities said.

The Department of Environmental Protection said the spill happened Sunday and was discovered after a gas odor was reported near the intersection of Pennsylvania routes 136 and 519 in Eighty-Four.

Officials were sent to the site to investigate. They found the fuel spilled from the Kwik Fill gas station in Eighty-Four, impacting an unnamed tributary to Little Chartiers Creek, the DEP said.

The DEP said cleanup efforts are underway, including the installation of a siphon dam and the use of a vacuum truck to collect the gas from the water.

Residents who live nearby said the spill has made them extremely sick. Michelle Hatfield told KDKA that at first, she thought she had COVID-19.

"We thought it was COVID because our nose was burning. Our throat was burning, weakened fatigue," Hatfield said. "We were just smelling gas and getting extremely sick. Extremely dizzy and lightheaded. (My husband) has MS and put him into an MS relapse where he has no upper body strength right now."

Hatfield said she talked with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, which told her the spill is also impacting wildlife in the area.

"They told us 1,000 fish or wildlife has been killed from it, and that it's just actively going in the creek and that they can't stop it," Hatfield said.

She said she's frustrated that the DEP did not notify nearby residents about the spill when it happened.

"They're telling us that four to five days it's still going to leak out, but we could be affected by this for months, they said," Hatfield said.

"Our additional concern, too, is just that people have live wells and they use well water. How much is this maybe contaminating people's well waters?" Earl Hatfield added.

The DEP said Kwik Fill passed an inspection this week after the spill. Authorities said the gas station has resumed dispensing fuel.

The Washington County Emergency Management Agency and Fish and Boat Commission are also investigating.

Authorities have not said how the spill happened.

If anyone is concerned for their health, call 911 or consult your physician.

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