Local first responders dealt with a bevy of oil, fuel, paint, and even milk spills in 2013, according to local data the Register obtained through a public records request.
Area taxpayers fronted about $1,300 to remedy eight disastrous situations.
At times, companies responsible for various spills picked up the tab. At-fault or instigating parties responsible for a spill must pay all cleanup costs, at times sparing county taxpayers any further financial burden.
County officials considered all eight situations an immediate threat to public safety, requiring swift and thorough cleanup efforts.
“It’s important that the hazmat team and the Erie County Emergency Management Agency respond to the spills and to make sure they are cleaned up properly to avoid future environmental impacts,” agency director Tim Jonovich said.
The hazmat team is composed of area firefighters who receive special training to deal with spills, leaks or other materials flowing out of vehicles or some other equipment.
Among the more notable emergencies last year: a milk tanker that overturned on Ohio 2 near Rye Beach Road.
In mid-December, local responders faced a frothy mess as they worked for more than 30 minutes to free a Michigan man driving the truck. A portion of the highway was closed for four hours after the rig went off the highway, overturned and slid on its side for almost a quarter of a mile through the grass median before stopping.
With temperatures below freezing, the grass median quickly became a slushy soup of water, diesel and milk, which firefighters sloshed in for about 40 minutes before they could finally free the driver.
Date Location Incident Cost
March 8 Ohio 60 and River Road Vermilion Diesel spill $282
March 20 Ohio Turnpike Diesel fuel spill Private cost
March 21 Ohio Turnpike Paint spill Private cost
March 26 Ohio 2 near Barnes Road Vermilion Fuel spill $470
June 10 West River Road, Vermilion Transformer spill $188
Aug. 7 11500 block U.S. 250, Milan, Paint spill Private cost
Nov. 26 Delematre Road, Monroeville, Oil spill Private cost
Dec. 10 Ohio 2 near Rye Beach Road, Huron Milk tanker spill $395
Note: Private cost means company paid for clean up.
Source: Erie County Emergency Management Agency