Cumberland crews clean up big spill after illegal fuel dumping

Friday, December 6, 2019
Cumberland officials investigate illegal dumping
Cumberland officials investigate illegal dumping

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Cumberland County Emergency Management Department is working with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office on an illegal-dumping investigation after an hours-long cleanup.

The spill was reported Thursday by someone passing by on Wade-Stedman Road.

"Right now, we're in the process of cleaning up a spill. Yesterday around 9 a.m., we had a passerby report that three 55 gallons of hazardous material were dumped along the roadway," said Hendrix Valenzuela, Emergency Management Coordinator for Cumberland County.

Valenzuela said the fuel mix was a combination of diesel fuel, oil and hydraulic fluid and that all three barrels were illegally dumped.

Cumberland Emergency Management is coordinating the cleanup. Because the spill was so large and in a watershed, it had to elevate the response.

"We had multiple agencies come out -- the EPA is involved, NC DEQ is involved, NC Emergency Management," Valenzuela said.

Emergency Management officials also said someone dumped one fuel barrel on the side of the road in Godwin.

"We have our law enforcement officials involved so that we can cover those grounds in case this is the same individual," Valenzuela said.

But there is good news.

"We have static water so it makes the cleanup easy and it's contained. The hazardous material is not going downrange," Valenzuela said.

Cumberland Emergency Management is encouraging the community to utilize the specific county sites for hazardous material waste.