Local News

Investigators Look For People Responsible For Vance County Oil Spill

Posted March 2, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— A 100-gallon oil spill in a Vance County creek is killing fish and worrying parents. Investigators say the spill was no accident.

Crews are trying to keep the oil out of Redbud Creek, which eventually runs into the Tar River.

Bryant Peoples cannot believe the spill took place just yards from his home.

"It's absolute filth, and it's oil," Peoples says. "There's lots of oil in the water."

Investigators have been looking since Friday morning to find what was spilled, how much was spilled and where it came from. Investigators say they can tell the spill has already proven to be toxic.

"It's a good rule of thumb way of judging how much chemicals you have when you start to see the impact on the environment to be that severe," says Brian Short, emergency operations director for Vance County.

Investigators even traveled downstream to a golf course to determine how far the spill had spread.

While the search for the cause and extent of the spill continues, the pollution investigators know about must be removed.

"This exceeds our local resources as far as our ability to clean this up," Short says.

The cleanup could cost thousands of dollars. Whoever is caught spilling the oil could have to pay fines, as well as the cleanup costs.

The spill will not affect the drinking water in the Vance County area.