Crews continue to clean up oil spill in Linesville Creek

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WHITE HAVEN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Eyewitness News has an update on a story Eyewitness News first told you about last night involving an oil spill.

Some of the oil leaked into a Luzerne County creek that feeds into the Lehigh River. Efforts are underway to clean up the oil that caused quite a mess in the Linesville Creek.

DEP officials say people can still enjoy the Lehigh River this weekend, but advise to keep an eye out for any oil sheens that might have escaped from the creek.

The Department of Environmental Protection first learned of the leak that turned the water slightly red Thursday morning. They say the oil leak is traced to an above-ground tank at the nearby White Haven Center that holds 20,000 gallons.

The White Haven Center is a state-owned facility for residents with intellectual and physical challenges. A hazmat crew is clearing up the mess.

DEP officials tell Eyewitness News it’s unclear how much oil got into the creek, but they say at least 2,000 gallons leaked out of the tank. Crews were on-site both Thursday and Friday, putting white absorbent pads into the creek.

“Lehigh River, there’s a lot of whitewater rafting, especially this weekend. We see a minimal amount of impact on the Lehigh River. People who use the river this weekend may notice some oil sheens in certain spots and may notice a fuel oil smell in the air. That’s typical but it’s nothing that’s dangerous that we’d caution people to stay away. Obviously stay away from the sheen but we wouldn’t caution you to stay away from the river,” DEP regional spokesperson Colleen Connolly told Eyewitness News.

The DEP says the investigation into the oil leak is ongoing and they’ll be monitoring the Linesville Creek over the next few weeks.

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