Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources’ environmental team investigates spill at McKenzie Creek in Piedmont

Investigation into fuel leak impacting creek in Piedmont.
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 1:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2023 at 8:34 PM CDT
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PIEDMONT, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Emergency Response team investigated a fuel leak impacting McKenzie Creek.

According to the division information officer for the DNR, the department was notified Monday evening, July 24 through its 24-hour emergency spill hotline of a petroleum sheen on the creek.

The response team from the southeast regional office responded to the area on Tuesday morning to investigation.

The state on-scene coordinator John Case told us they tracked the leak through a storm drain system to a nearby gas station where it was coming from above-ground storage tanks.

“During the last rain event, it’s likely diesel fuel got washed out of that containment and washed into the creek,” he said. “MFA has hired an environmental contractor and they’re actively mitigating the scene. We want to remind the public if you see any chemical or petroleum spills to call our 24-hour spill line.”

On Monday evening, according to DNR, the Piedmont Fire Department placed a protective barrier and absorbing mats on the creek’s surface to limit the spread.

Initially, they say they were concerned about Piedmont’s public water system, which uses the Black River as its source. If the fuel spill reached the water system’s intake at the river, it could affect Piedmont’s water quality.

However, according to DNR, its regional office’s drinking water team reached out to the city and determined that McKenzie Creek flows into the Black River downstream of the city’s water intake structure on the river, so the system was and is not at risk.

On Thursday, July 27, DNR notified MFA Oil who then hired an environmental contractor to begin addressing the issue. Mitigation work continued, during which new absorbents were placed around the gas station’s fuel containment.

Rolls of absorbent material have also been placed in four separate spots on the creek to catch any remaining sheen and product. The stormwater drain has been flushed and the residual fuel and sheen have been collected.

Brian Quinn with the DNR said that absorbent materials will be maintained to prevent future release from containment.