Ethan-all over the placePublished 11:05am Friday, March 5, 2010
By KATIE JOHNSON
Niles Daily Star
Local fire departments, law enforcement and ambulance implemented emergency procedure Thursday to prevent an ethanol spill from igniting in Niles Township.
Employees at Citgo Terminal on the 2200 block of South Third Street contacted authorities at approximately 1 p.m. after a tank began to leak ethanol. They were conducting routine maintenance on a valve on one of two tanks in a concrete dike behind the Citgo Terminal building. The tank began to leak and fill the dike.
The Michigan State Police Niles Post blocked off Third Street and directed traffic as Niles and Niles Township fire departments, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Niles Township Police, Citgo officials and Southwestern Community Ambulance Services were on the scene to prepare in the case the spill ignited.
According to Niles Township Fire Chief Gary Brovold, firefighters covered the spill with a foam “blanket” and then shut off the valve to a trickle. He said they were at the “recovery stage” at about 3 p.m., when the spill no longer posed a safety threat.
A tanker truck arrived on the scene at about 3 p.m. to haul away the spilled ethanol. Brovold estimated more than 100 gallons of the fuel were spilled.
According to Citgo, their terminals in Niles, Ferrysberg and Jackson, Mich. supply fuel to the more than 300 Citgo stations in Michigan and hundreds of other stations across the Upper Midwest.