Clean-up completed after mercury spill in Franklin

Clean-up continues days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was called to a mercury spill in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED
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Clean-up continues days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was called to a mercury spill in Franklin. CONTRIBUTED

UPDATE, Feb 16:

Clean-up efforts wrapped up late Wednesday after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was called Monday to a mercury spill in Franklin.

Franklin firefighters responded just before noon Monday to the 300 block of East Fourth Street, where a mail carrier found mercury on a sidewalk in front of a home, according to Fire Chief Jonathan Westendorf.

According to a fire report, about 50 square feet of the property was affected by the spill.

The Ohio EPA confirmed the substance was mercury, Westendorf said, and then contacted the USEPA.

A resident of the home told the Journal-News that she had no idea where the mercury came from.

The Warren County Combined Health District did a health screening of the residents at the home as a precaution.

There were no indications of any injuries or health concerns as a result of the spill nor was there any indications that the mercury had leached into the groundwater, according to Kim Churchill of the USEPA.

Crews s cleaned the mercury beads from the concrete sidewalk, the steps to the residence and grass along the sidewalk.

Crews still need to test for any mercury vapors, according to Churchill.

“The source of the mercury is unknown and the residents said they have no idea of any spills in the house,” she said. “They’re as perplexed as we are. We’re not really sure where it came from.”

Churchill said the clean-up costs are being covered by the EPA, but that the federal agency will be seeking reimbursement from the property owner.

As of late Wednesday, the clean-up cost totaled about $6,000.

INITIAL REPORT (Feb. 15):

Clean-up continues days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was called to a mercury spill in Franklin.

Franklin firefighters responded just before noon Monday to the 300 block of E. Fourth Street, where a mail carrier found mercury on a sidewalk in front of a home, according to Franklin Fire Chief Jonathan Westendorf.

The Ohio EPA confirmed the substance was mercury, Westendorf said, and then contacted the USEPA.

Mike Bunner, Warren County emergency services director, told commissioners at Tuesday night’s meeting that the cost to clean up a 2015 mercury spill at a home in Springboro totaled about $400,000.

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