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Fuel spill clean-up nearly complete at Robert Gray Army Airfield

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Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 4:30 am

More than 70 percent of the jet fuel spilled Thursday near Robert Gray Army Airfield has been collected.

Cleanup efforts for an estimated 14,000 gallons of jet fuel that spewed from an overflow valve at a fuel storage facility are underway under the direction of the Defense Logistics Agency.

The majority of fuel, known as JP8, pooled up in dry creekbeds that lead to Reese Creek, said Riki Young, chief of the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division’s spill team. The fuel that soaked into the ground is what remains, officials said.

The spill remained within an area 1,200 meters south of the initial spill site and remained on Fort Hood property.

Fort Hood Fire Department Chief Billy Rhoads said his department received a 911 call about 6:45 a.m. alerting it to the situation. About a dozen fire personnel worked the scene, eventually stopping the spill and tracking the fuel through the woods behind the facility, Rhoads said.

“We are investigating when possibly the last people were here ... or what occurred to cause the spill,” he said.

With fire, life and health threats gone, the fire department turned the situation over to Young’s team within hours to clean up the fuel, worth $50,000.

“We are working with maintenance to get access to where the fuel pooled up and doing the initial cleanup,” Young said. “It’s very important because we want to keep the fuel in as small an area as possible.”

The spilled fuel did not reach flowing waterways, but Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality officials conducted investigations.

The last reported fuel spill at Fort Hood was in 2008 when about 10,000 gallons spilled in the same location.

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