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Ohio River Reopened After Fuel Spill

August 19, 2014

A fuel oil spill forced the Coast Guard to close a 15-mile section of the Ohio River to traffic on Tuesday, but authorities have since reopened the river. The spill happened during a routine fuel transfer on Monday night at Duke Energy's W.C. Beckjord Station in New Richmond, Cincinnati.com reports.

(MORE: Serious Flooding Swamps Phoenix)

The spill was initially reported as about 5,000 to 8,000 gallons, but Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Katherine Cameron says authorities on site had lowered the estimate to around 4,000 to 5,000 gallons as of Tuesday evening. Clean-up crews had sucked 400-500 gallons oil off of the water by noon on Tuesday, according to Cincinnati.com. Officials say that Cincinnati's drinking water supply has not been contaminated. 

A Coast Guard spokeswoman says river traffic in that section southeast of Cincinnati must get Coast Guard clearance and maintain a safe speed as the cleanup continues. 

A Duke Energy spokeswoman says the spill happened late Monday night. 

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke says the spill occurred during a fuel transfer and lasted about 10 to 15 minutes. Duke spokeswoman Sally Thelen said that the company was still determining the cause of the spill. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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