Georgia Environmental Protection Division monitoring fuel spill at Beacon Municipal Complex site

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 13, 2014
A reader submitted this photo of "spilled hydraulic oil" at the Beacon Hill site. Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said heavy rains over the weekend turned over a subcontractor's fuel tank. The state Environmental Protection Division is supervising the cleanup.

A reader submitted this photo of “spilled hydraulic oil” at the Beacon Hill site. Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said heavy rains over the weekend turned over a subcontractor’s fuel tank, spilling diesel fuel. The state Environmental Protection Division is supervising the cleanup.

An environmentally-conscious reader did a little sleuthing over the weekend and discovered something awry at the construction site for the Beacon Hill Municipal Complex.

The reader thought he smelled fuel in Peavine Creek near Vickers Drive, about two miles northwest of the Beacon Hill site in DeKalb County.

Approximate location of fuel smell emanating from Peavine Creek.

Approximate location of fuel smell emanating from Peavine Creek. Source: Google Maps.

The reader says that on Jan. 12 followed Peavine upstream, eventually finding his way to the Beacon Site where he photographed “spilled hydraulic oil.” But our reader wasn’t the only person who was looking into the Beacon Hill site over the weekend.

Deputy Decatur City Manager Hugh Saxon said the Georgia Environmental Protection Division received a call from someone who smelled fuel down stream of the project. Saxon said heavy rains on the morning on Jan. 11 turned over a fuel tank at the site, spilling diesel fuel.

“EPD inspected the area and discovered the fuel tank,” Saxon said. “(Potts Construction) and Reeves Contracting, the storm water subcontractor for the project, were contacted and HEPACO, an environmental cleanup company, was on-site Sunday addressing the spill. They were accompanied by representatives from the EPD and Potts Construction. A cleanup plan was put in place on Sunday night. ┬áIt is my understanding that HEPACO installed booms downstream and began skimming fuel that had been released off-site. Contaminated water and soils are being collected and will continue until the EPD is satisfied that the spill has been cleaned up.”

Problem solved. Or is it? The reader mentioned that an unusual amount of sediment had been flowing down the creek for at least a month. Saxon said this incident is the only environmental incident on the Beacon site so far.

“There’s a number of construction projects that’ve been going on in downtown Decatur for the last several months that are upstream of Vickers Drive,” Saxon said. “From a regulatory standpoint, the one we’re responsible for is Beacon and we have a regular review process that takes place to monitor and to ensure that our storm water soil erosion controls are in place. We do that at least once a week and more often if necessary. We have a consultant looking at it as well.”

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

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