PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Officials are sounding the alarm after a tanker truck crash in Gloucester County last week. It overturned and spilled diesel fuel and the cleanup continues.
As someone who loves nature, Ken Moyer has a little taste of paradise living along Mantua Creek. But the last few days, the natural beauty has been tainted by a foul odor.
“The smell’s terrible, I mean, and the breeze is coming in a little bit so you can smell it a little bit more now,” Moyer said.
On top of the smell, he’s noticed an oil sheen constantly flowing down the creek. The source was a tanker that crashed on Route 55 last week, spilling nearly 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel. Officials say some it went in Mantua Creek, which flows through several towns in Gloucester County.
“Before we were aware, there were contaminants as a result of the spill, we started receiving from residents of the odor,” said Wenonah Mayor John Dominy.
Dominy has been reaching out to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to clean up the spill as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
“We have concerns about what the long-term impact, the short-term impact, what precautions our residents need to make. What efforts can be made to remediate this problem,” the mayor said.
A cleanup effort is underway as a DEP contractor removes fuel that is collecting along several booms set up across the creek.
But with so many twists, turns and alcoves where contaminants can get stuck along the creek, many people are concerned how effective the cleanup will be in remote wooded areas.
“Oh, it’s terrible, there’s a lot of wildlife, a lot of fish. There’s freshwater mussels in here, they’re bass. I know it’s going to do something to the ecology here,” Moyer said.