Vienna oil spill leaves slew of dead animals

A dead turtle sits near an oil spill site in Vienna, Ohio.
A dead turtle lies near the site of an oil spill in Vienna Friday.

VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Natural Resources have contained a waste oil spill in Vienna Township Friday, but are still tracking down the source of the chemicals.

The spill happened near 884 Sodom Hutchings Road near old Route 82, also known as Warren Sharon Road, Thursday evening.

Township Trustee Phil Pegg said the business responsible for the spill, oil and gas developers KDA Inc., have voluntarily shut down operations for the day.

“The facility voluntarily closed down. There is some type of foreign substance that has left the facility. It has gotten into some wetlands and several ponds. It has killed off the fish and the wildlife in that area,” Pegg said.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the spill was reported by a neighbor and confirmed by an inspector Thursday night. The neighbor let WKBN’s news cameras on to his property to see the dead fish, turtles and muskrats that fill his pond.

KDA issued a statement about the spill that read:

At Kleese Development Associates (KDA), a family-owned and operated oil and gas company, the safety and well-being of our team and the environment remains our top priority. As we have for more than twenty years, KDA proudly serves the Warren, Ohio community and, in response to the recent report of an issue at a local KDA site in Trumbull County, has taken immediate action including: 

Working closely with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on their official review of the issue
Conducting a thorough remediation effort of the area impacted
Proactively and voluntarily stopping all related company operations for the immediate future out of an abundance of caution
Launching an internal review of KDA protocols to ensure that we have the right processes in place to promote environmental stewardship

Many people in the area have private wells for their water supply.

Pegg said that the state is monitoring water quality for the closest resident that does have a well.

The spill has been contained and is not spreading further. ODNR said it seems the problem may have been brewing for some time.

Sources with the Ohio EPA said at least 2,000 gallons were spilled into a tributary of Little Yankee Run on Thursday. State officials said oil traveled 3,000 feet downstream.

The state says the problem might have been going on for some time, but winter ice and snow hid the issues.

“We’re working on determining the extent of the impact, the source of the problem,” Ohio EPA Representative Linda Oros said.

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