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A diesel fuel spill in the Murphy USA parking lot on North West Avenue on Friday drew out firefighters, cleanup crews and state agencies to assess the damage.

“Fuel spills are pretty common … but normally there’s a reason why. They’ll have to figure out how that happened,” said Jason Evans, assistant fire chief with the El Dorado Fire Department.

Evans said Friday that he estimated about 100 gallons of fuel had spilled, including some in a storm drain on the Murphy USA property. However, he said, the fuel was cleaned before endangering any city services.

“The water company says it hasn’t affected water or sewer,” Evans said.

Code 3 Services, LLC was at the scene for about four hours cleaning the spill, said Bobby Braswell, coordinator for the Union County Office of Emergency Management. Braswell said about 3 or 4 gallons made it down the storm drain, which he said was cleaned up Friday afternoon.

A small creek runs under the Walmart parking lot toward College Avenue. It is right below where the spilled fuel puddled at the bottom of the storm drain. Braswell said no fuel made it into the creek, even with the storm Friday evening.

A media contact at Murphy USA could not be reached by press time Tuesday. No one at the scene Friday could say how the accident happened.

Braswell said it is important to report any accidents that occur at the gas pump immediately.

“You’re not going to get in any trouble,” Braswell said. “Just report it. Report it immediately.”

One representative from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality was also at the scene. She could not comment on the cause of the spill or its effects. A media representative of the ADEQ could not be reached by press time.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, spilled oil can be harmful to living things since its chemical parts are poisonous. However, diesel fuel is considered a “light” oil, so it will typically evaporate quickly and will not remain in an environment for too long.

Code 3 Services could not comment on their cleanup efforts. They could be observed using a containment boom to soak up fuel spilled on the ground and sand to dry up fuel spilled on the parking lot.

Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or cbutler@eldoradonews.com.

Gallery: Diesel fuel spill cleanup at Murphy USA

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