Vienna residents concerned about water safety after oil spill - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Vienna residents concerned about water safety after oil spill

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VIENNA TWP., Ohio - The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency believes at least 2,000 gallons of oil, described as "light waste", from a well site in Vienna leaked into registered wetlands and properties along Sodom-Hutchings Road.

Dead fish floating, dead turtles and a dead muskrat were discovered along with an an orange substance near spill sites, including the edges of the Hopkinson family's pond.

Those who have called this land their own for generations are puzzled and upset.

"This is my land and I'm concerned how this is going to effect my children," said John Hopkinson of Vienna.

Hopkinson has four young children and he's concerned about his water supply and the future of his pond.

Michael Zydyk's family owns close to 180 acres along Sodom-Hutchings Road and used to live on Hopkinson's property.

"I wanted to see for myself and walking around, I see the dead fish, the koi fish and everything that I remember putting in as a kid and they're not going to make it," Zydyk said.

The EPA supervised as crews worked to clean up some of the spill on a portion of his property at the corner of Sodom Hutchings Road and Warren-Sharon Road, which sits across the street from Kleese Development Associates. KDA operates five wells sites on its property across the street, one is a deep injection well.

KDA voluntarily shutdown operations Friday, while the Ohio Department of Natural Resources toured the property. The EPA determined that the cause of the leak was linked to an underground pipe on the property that was discharging what the agency described as "light waste".

The EPA says two wetlands and a private pond were severely impacted by the spill. The EPA says it's in the process of developing a clean up plan and it's believed the spill is contained to the areas effected.

The EPA tells 21 News that residents should contact the local health department to determine whether or not they should test their private water wells.

Gabriele Calior, a nearby Vienna resident, questions if the wells need to be tested who will pay for the testing.

"It is not my fault they spill things I should not have to pay for that," said Calior.

KDA issued a statement saying it's taking immediate action including "launching an internal review of KDA protocols to ensure that we have the right processes in place to promote environmental stewardship."

John Hopkinson says he reported the spill on an EPA hot line on Monday and was told to call back in two days. He says he called again Wednesday and that the ODNR and EPA did not arrive until Thursday afternoon. Hopkinson tells 21 News he told the EPA about an orange substance in his pond and that he lived near an injection well site.

The EPA says when they received the homeowners call on Monday they gave him signs to look for and told him to call back if they appeared. When the homeowner called back reporting an odor, one of the signs Ohio EPA instructed the homeowner to look for, they Ohio EPA and ODNR responded within 24 hours, per the agencies' protocols for these types of incidents.

Vienna Township Trustee Phil Pegg and Vienna's fire chief are upset they weren't notified of the spill sooner.

"We have no say in anything that is occurring. In fact, we have not been informed that this had occurred if I had not made phone calls to the state," said Pegg. "The state of Ohio has taken over control but, they are not informing the local jurisdictions. It's a bad situation the way the state of Ohio has controlled injections wells and the fracking wells."
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