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Diesel fuel leaks in Flowery Branch

POSTED: March 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.
FLOWERY BRANCH — An overturned rig leaked between 400 and 500 gallons of diesel fuel on a vacant lot Monday in northern Flowery Branch.

Authorities received the call about the leaking diesel fuel at 8:30 a.m. Monday, but are not sure how long the fuel had been leaking from the overturned rig, said Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell.

"Evidently it had been turned over for quite some time," Kimbrell said. "We left that with the (Environmental Protection
Division). They were going to investigate how it happened."

Calls to Kevin Chambers, spokesman for the Environmental Protection Division, were not returned Monday afternoon.

The company had been drilling some wells for a private landowner, Kimbrell said.

Submitted photographs of the overturned rig showed the words "Murphy Well Drilling" stamped in white letters on the doors.

According to the EPD’s Web site, the Gainesville-based company is owned by Marion and Greg Murphy.

Since the company had been digging the well, the excavated dirt served as a dam that kept the diesel from leaking any farther than the vacant lot on Atlanta Highway, Kimbrell said.

"Our biggest thing is just stopping it from leaking and making sure it doesn’t spread out any further, and it kind of did that on its own," Kimbrell said.

The diesel spilled on a dirt surface, but Kimbrell said it will not soak into the ground much before the company can get it cleaned up.

The company will have to hire a specialized cleanup company to either pump the diesel off the ground or put out absorbent pads to soak it up, Kimbrell said.

"They’ll get it up in the next little bit," Kimbrell said. "It shouldn’t be hard to clean it up."

The Murphys could not be reached for comment.



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