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Oil spills into Pa. creek

September 18, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Oil spilled from Knouse Foods Inc. spread a quarter-mile through Falling Spring Creek on Thursday, according to fire officials.

Knouse's environmental team and Chambersburg area firefighters used dikes and booms to control the oil's spread after it was discovered. Chambersburg Fire Department became aware of the problem around 1 p.m., Fire Chief Terry Osborne said.

Knouse officials saw a film around their stormwater drain Wednesday and put down a boom, assuming the oil had come from recent parking-lot paving, Osborne said. When they discovered it had worsened, they found that condensation on a cooking unit caused it to malfunction.

That unit, which heats to 130 degrees, uses recycled oil, Osborne said.

"It was dumping into the stormwater drain," he said.

The oil crossed Grant Street and entered Falling Spring Creek. From there, the oil spread to the fire department headquarters.

The amount of oil that was leaked is unknown, Osborne said.

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The clean-up was expected to continue overnight and today. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and other state stream/health officials were at the scene.

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