Cold weather is helping Delaware River oil spill: DEP

monroe refinery

A department of environmental protection spokesman on Tuesday said the cold weather and winds the last two days is actually helping emergency responders clean up the 1,000 gallons of crude oil that spilled into the Delaware River on Monday afternoon.

The spill, at the Monroe Energy refinery in Trainer, Delaware County, happened when a small pipe that was attached to a larger one containing oil broke. There was no active offloading of crude oil happening at the time of the spill, DEP spokeswoman Deborah Fries said, as was earlier reported by several media outlets.

Crews are actively further containing the spill and fortunately, the cold weather is helping.

“The wind was pushing the product toward the shore,” Fries said. “The crude oil has an even higher viscosity in the cold to it’s easier to collect.”

The conditions are clear as well, meaning no oil spread because of precipitation.

Fries said someone on scene called into the DEP Tuesday afternoon saying the majority of the oil has been cleaned up.

“As far as long-term impacts,” she added, “we didn’t see any adverse impacts on aquatic life.”

The broken pipe is being investigated by Monroe whose spokesman Adam Gattuso said on Tuesday the group is investigating and that cold weather may have been a factor.

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