City’s Fuel Spill Response to Citizens is in Conflict with Consultant Report

Tallahassee Reports has learned that the City of Tallahassee has provided a formal response to a citizen inquiry about the diesel fuel spill at the Hopkins Generating Station. However, the response is in conflict with reports published by a city vendor hired to provide an assessment and a clean-up protocol.

On April 12, 2017, Rob McGarrah, the General Manager of the city’s electric utility wrote in an email to a concerned citizen:

While it is difficult to be precise in estimating the volume given the small size of the leak and the measurement techniques, the amount of diesel that leaked from the tank was estimated to be no more than about 5,000 gallons, well under the 600,000 gallons of diesel being spilled that was reported in the article you referenced. 

However, two reports by ARCADIS, the environmental company hired by the city to make an assessment of the accident, estimated that up to 32,000 gallons of diesel fuel was located beneath the site and the mass of “product” was estimated to be 227,000 pounds. The report noted these estimates did not take into account the portion of the spill that dissolved and/or was absorbed by the soil above the ground water table.

The ARCADIS report also indicates that there was approximately 3.0 million gallons of diesel fuel in the tank when the leak was discovered. However, the report states 2.4 million gallons of diesel fuel was ultimately transferred from the tank -leaving 600,000 gallons of fuel unaccounted for.

When Tallahassee Reports called and asked a representative of the city’s electric utility department about the conflict in the amount of diesel fuel that was spilled, the representative said he was unaware of the ARCADIS report.

Listed below is an image of the “Mass Estimates” section of the report produced by ARCADIS in March 2012 referencing the 32,000 gallons of diesel fuel estimated to be located under the site.

In addition, despite the findngs in the ARCADIS report, City Commissioner Nancy Miller’s office sent an email to a constituent that read:

The worst case estimate of the leak is 5,000 gallons.  In the recent article on this issue, there was a reference to 600,000 gallons of diesel being spilled.  This assertion is erroneous.

Tallahassee Reports has sent each city commissioner a copy of the ARCADIS report.





2 Responses to "City’s Fuel Spill Response to Citizens is in Conflict with Consultant Report"

  1. Hope   April 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I see the rubber duckies have started to circle the wagons.

  2. Peggy   April 27, 2017 at 7:42 am

    How does this effect the water for people with wells


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