DEP reports 'light' oil spill on Monongahela River

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Investigators found a light, petroleum-like sheen on the Monongahela River this morning. John Poister, spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection Southwest region, said the agency received a call around 7 a.m. Sunday from Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services about reports of boaters near the river who saw the sheen in the vicinity of the W.D. Mansfield Bridge in Dravosburg.

The river is a source of local drinking water, Mr. Poister said, but did not hear of local officials "stopping intake" from the river as drinking water is usually drawn from the bottom and the sheen was on the surface of the river.

The sheen was distinguishable, he said, and had a rainbow-colored tint that reflected from the surface of the water. He categorized the spill as a "light," with only about 36 gallons of the petroleum-like substance spilled into the river, although it stretched for a mile beyond the bridge.

The slick began to break up by the middle of the day Sunday, he said, partially due to the recent onslaught of heavy rain. The agency is continuing to investigate the source of the spill.

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