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January 25, 2016

Officials: Home heating oil spills into Schuylkill River

Water department: Drinking water should be safe

Oil Spill
01252016_schuylkill_spill_OEM Source/Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management tweeted out this photo of the oil spill on the Schuylkill River at Chestnut Street on Monday.

UPDATE (3:30 p.m., 1/26/16): Much of the heating oil that spilled into the Schuylkill River on Monday has been removed by using vacuum trucks, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Tuesday. But efforts to identify the path the oil took remain ongoing. Full story here.

Oil was leaking into the Schuylkill River on Monday afternoon, according to officials.

The Schuylkill River Development Corp. said on Facebook that the spill occurred near Chestnut Street. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the leak was caused by a sensor malfunction of an emergency generator at a CenturyLink facility. 

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management said on Twitter that it is helping to coordinate response to the home heating oil spill with the Coast Guard and the Philadelphia Fire Department, and they are working on cleanup plans.

"All downstream notifications have been made and @PhillyH2O intake valves are closed. There are no health concerns," the OEM tweeted. "The responsible party has an environmental contractor on site and @uscg is monitoring clean up as Schuylkill is navigable waterway."

Samantha Phillips, the city’s director of emergency management,  said there is no damage to the water supply because appropriate damage treatment measures were taken.

The Coast Guard said that 4,200 gallons overflowed from the leak, 250 gallons of which spilled into the river.

Miller Environmental Group Inc, an oil spill response organization, is engaging in the cleanup effort, the Coast Guard said. 

The Philadelphia Water Department said earlier on Twitter that it is aware of the spill and has informed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The Schuylkill Banks trail along the river may be closed between Market and Chestnut streets for cleanup activities.