CHARLESTON, SC- A relatively minor oil spill occurred today at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District’s St. Stephen Powerhouse in St. Stephen, Berkeley County, S.C. The spill happened within the confining structures of the rediversion canal. The spill has been contained and plans for a clean-up are underway thus minimizing the impact to the environment.
The cause of the oil spill is under investigation, but it occurred during routine maintenance. The material spill was hydraulic oil from a piece of equipment which controls the speed of the hydro-electric turbine. This oil is considerably less toxic than most other petroleum products or fuels. Immediately following the spill to ensure safety, operations were stopped and oil absorbent booms were deployed to contain the spill and minimize the impacts. An environmental contractor is mobilizing now for removal of all spilled oil.
Following the recently updated Spill Response Plan, the Corps contacted the National Response Center, Santee Cooper, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Berkeley County and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Information is still being collected and a Corps spokesperson will be available for questions tomorrow.
Release no. 13-0901