FAA fuel spill in Aurora cleared from Fox River

  • A crew monitors the cleanup of the Fox River Thursday after diesel fuel from the FAA building in Aurora spilled into the river a day earlier.

      A crew monitors the cleanup of the Fox River Thursday after diesel fuel from the FAA building in Aurora spilled into the river a day earlier. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Absorbing booms were set up along the Fox River at the Illinois Avenue overpass near the north end of downtown Aurora after diesel fuel spilled into the river the day before.

      Absorbing booms were set up along the Fox River at the Illinois Avenue overpass near the north end of downtown Aurora after diesel fuel spilled into the river the day before. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • A crew monitors the cleanup of the Fox River Thursday after diesel fuel from the FAA building in Aurora spilled into the river a day earlier.

      A crew monitors the cleanup of the Fox River Thursday after diesel fuel from the FAA building in Aurora spilled into the river a day earlier. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
and Tara Garcia Mathewson
jcilella@dailyherald.com
 
Updated 12/29/2011 2:10 PM

Only a faint smell of diesel remained Thursday on the Fox River after more than 1,400 gallons of fuel spilled a day earlier into a storm sewer that discharges into the waterway.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Dennis McMurray said the water in the Fox River no longer has any sheen on it from the fuel.

 

Crews worked through the night Wednesday to contain the spill, which originated from the Federal Aviation Administration facility at 619 W. Indian Trail, and was first reported about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

FAA officials informed the Aurora Fire Department that between 20 and 100 gallons of fuel had overflowed through the top of a malfunctioning underground fuel storage tank onto the pavement and into a Fox Metro Water District sanitary sewer.

Fire personnel informed Fox Metro of the situation and made plans to address the spill later in the morning, as its size did not require an immediate cleanup.

Around 10 a.m., however, the FAA informed city officials that the spill was actually between 1,000 and 1,500 gallons and that it had entered a city storm sewer.

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Crews from the city's fire, water and sewer, and water production departments were immediately dispatched to the scene. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was also informed of the spill.

The crews worked overnight with an FAA-contracted private hazardous materials firm to clean up the fuel.

Absorbent booms were placed at the entrances and exits of the affected storm lines to absorb fuel.

An unknown quantity of fuel did flow into the Fox River at Sullivan Road. On Wednesday night there was an approximately 8-foot-wide sheen on the river's west bank extending for about 1.5 miles.

By Thursday morning, the booms were still in place but the river was clear, McMurray said.

McMurray confirmed the public water supply is not in danger. The natural flow of the river kept the fuel to the side of the river opposite from the water treatment plant.

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