Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Bradford County Acid Spill

Written By: Joe Melillo

More than 4,700 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled on a drill pad, but none of went into Towanda creek.

Bradford County Acid Spill
 

July 6, 2012

Bradford County (WENY) - Emergency clean up crews are still on site of a massive acid spill in Bradford county. More than 4,700 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled on a drill pad, but none of went into Towanda creek. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is still investigating how thousands of gallons of chemicals spilled onto that well pad. Investigators have been out at the Chief Oil and Gas Yoder well pad in Leroy Township since it happened Wednesday. Canton fire Chief Kim Jennings says operator error caused a truck carrying more than 4,000 gallons of acid to spill. The spill is still under investigation, but it is believed to have been caused by a disconnected valve on the tractor trailer's acid tanker, which DEP officials said provides the chemical for the hydrofracking process. The acid flowed down the drilling pad toward the intersection of Crowfoot and South side Road, then into a small tributary. Emergency response crews used powdered lime to neutralize the acid. They also dug trenches and built dams to stop it before the acid reached the Towanda creek. One concern was that the spill created a breathing hazard, but the wind was blowing the whole time and kept surrounding neighbors out of danger.

     “There is no concern now but we were a little worried about weather any of it would go towards the neighbors up the road. The wind blew good so it dissipated so it didn't become a breathing hazard for anyone of the neighbors,” says Jennings.

      DEP crews were still at the scene, collecting soil and water samples and expect to finish their investigation tomorrow.