State agencies to pay for Vienna residents' water testing after - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

State agencies to pay for Vienna residents' water testing after oil spill

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VIENNA TWP., Ohio -

One State Representative may have some answers for Valley residents dealing with the fear of the unknown surrounding two separate oil spills near Vienna and Mosquito Lake.

State Representative Sean O'Brien who made the announcement Saturday afternoon to 21 News that two state agencies will pick up the cost for residents to have their water tested near the sites.

Residents in Vienna who live along Sodom Hutchings Road witnessed a leakage of approximately 2,000 gallons of light waste that left fish, turtles, and wildlife dead.

The wetlands along Sodom Hutchings And Warren Sharon Road contain several creeks and ponds, which neighbors say are a big concern.

The clean-up and containment of the oil byproduct spill has homeowners concerned about their drinking water, which many say comes from wells near the wetlands.

Julie Barr, one of the many residents along the contaminated wetland, says fear over their well water has them concerned about the youngest members of the family.

"My step mother was here with my triplets and I said don't let them take a bath, don't let them take a shower, don't let them brush their teeth because I don't know whats in our water," said Barr.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says the "light waste" substance most likely leaked from an underground storage facility from an nearby injection well site owned by Kleese Development Associates.

But OEPA adds the spill did not reach the aquifer, adding that the clean up and containment should keep it that way.

State Representative Sean O'Brien says people using well water and have concerns should call the Ohio EPA. If the agency determines it is in an area that could be effected it has indicated it will pay for the testing.

Rep. O'Brien met with both the OEPA and Ohio Department of Natural Resources at the Vienna site and says he is talking with the agencies about improving their response time and about addressing other concerns.

"Local officials need to know what is going on. Local EMS, fire, police, a whole host of steps need to be taken and shored up," said O'Brien.

He added that there are penalties and civil and or criminal charges that also can be filed against the company depending on the outcome of the investigation.

At the same time OEPA and ODNR are working to clean up about a ten acre stretch of oil on Mosquito Lake, a source of drinking water for Cortland and surrounding areas.

However, O'Brien assured that the area in which that particular spill took place should not effect the safety of drinking water.

"It is in an area that is no where near the intake levels or source for the people of cortland and surrounding areas and clean up looks like its going pretty smoothly," O'Brien explained.

O'Brien says the oil appears to have been there since winter and that officials continue to look for the cause.

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