Investigators: Family Dispute at Center of Oil Spill

Bristol Oil Spill

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Investigators are trying to determine if a family feud between two brothers is at the center of what caused an oil spill Wednesday that leaked into a nearby creek in Bristol Township.

Cleanup crews with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources continued cleaning more than 1,600 gallons of oil, valued at about $160,000, that drained out of a well in the 600 block of Mahan Denman Road.

Investigators said about one-third of the oil leaked into the adjacent Baughman Creek, though officials said well water would not be affected.

Investigators believe someone twice intentionally opened a valve and removed a cover cap, allowing the oil leak.

ODNR and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the well. ODNR officials said cleanup will likely go through next week.

William Tenney, 48, of Cortland, told police he was called by his father, Percy Tenney, who was recovering from surgery in an area hospital. When he arrived, William Tenney found the spill, reports said.

Percy Tenney’s brother, Michael, 60, who lives in a neighboring home, argued with William, his nephew, who alleged Michael Tenney was responsible for the spill. Michael Tenney denied those allegations, reports said.

William Tenney told police Michael Tenney was angry because he cut him off from receiving free gas for his home, which Michael Tenney also denied.

Reports said the Percy Tenney and Michael Tenney are feuding over the home Michael Tenney lives in, which is the center of a probate court case about their mother’s estate.

“A $10 padlock secures those,” Michael Tenney said. “There are wells around here I would like to see monitored a little better so that something like this doesn’t happen.”

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