Henrico County is continuing to monitor
Wednesday's crude oil spill into the James River following a CSX train
derailment in Lynchburg, and is taking a number of precautionary measures to
protect its water supply.
County officials said they anticipate the oil could flow into the region after 6 p.m. Thursday, based on estimates from state agencies and CSX. Officials still say there is no indication that the oil could enter the county's water supply.
Assistant Director of Public
Utilities William Mawyer said the county's intake was 10 feet below the level
of the James River on Wednesday, a depth that should allow any oil to pass over.
If necessary, he said the county is prepared to close the intake temporarily.
On Wednesday, Henrico began filling
its water storage tanks, which have a capacity of 35 million gallons. The water
treatment plant has turned up its ozone disinfection system as an additional
precaution, Mawyer said, noting that water quality is tested continuously as
Henrico is taking hourly samples
from the river and analyzing them for the presence of hydrocarbons.
Hydrocarbons were not detectable in the water samples taken today at approximately
11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., Mawyer said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
is assisting with the sampling.
Representatives from Henrico Fire and the Henrico County Health Department are in Lynchburg assisting with the on-site response and assessing potential impacts to central Virginia.
County officials continue to work with state agencies including the departments of Health, Emergency Management and Environmental Quality, the city of Richmond and CSX.
"Henrico County has multiple resources engaged in this effort and is tracking this situation closely as it continues to develop," County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said.
The Division of Fire has launched
two swift-water rescue boats, staffed by firefighters from the marine patrol
and hazardous materials team, to help assess water quality. The team is
deploying its detection and monitoring equipment above the county's James River
The Division of Police's Metro
Aviation Unit is conducting reconnaissance flights upriver of Buckingham County
to look for and monitor any oil sheen on the river. CSX and the Virginia State
Police are providing helicopters to assist with river observations.
Thursday, August 28 2014 4:16 PM EDT2014-08-28 20:16:44 GMT
A tractor trailer is stuck under an overpass near the Regency Square Mall. This is at the Quioccasin Road overpass near the Macy's side of the mall. Henrico County will be inspecting the bridge for damage. NoMore >>
A tractor trailer was stuck under an overpass near the Regency Square Mall on Thursday morning. More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 8:21 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:21:40 GMT
Members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard left for the site of an F-15 crash late Wednesday, hours after witnesses reported seeing a parachute deploy in the air. The eyewitness accounts of a pilotMore >>
Members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard left for the site of an F-15 crash late Wednesday, hours after witnesses reported seeing a parachute deploy in the air.More >>