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Crews work to stop the leak from a crude oil pipeline in southwest Ohio on Tuesday. (The Cincinnati Enquirer | Gary Landers)

Oil pipeline leaks 10,000 gallons of crude at Ohio nature preserve

CINCINNATI – Thousands of gallons of crude oil leaked from an interstate pipeline into the area of a southwest Ohio nature preserve, authorities said Tuesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries to wildlife.

Federal and state environmental officials were at the scene Tuesday of the spill west of Cincinnati. Nearby residents in Colerain Township weren’t in danger from the leak reported late Monday, authorities said. The pipeline was shut off overnight, they said.

The Mid-Valley Pipeline Co. pipeline runs nearly 1,000 miles from Texas to Michigan and is largely owned by Sunoco Logistics Partners. A Sunoco Logistics spokesman said the cause of the leak in a wooded ravine was under investigation.

Spokesman Jeff Shields said initial estimates were that 240 barrels of oil were released, the equivalent of some 10,000 gallons. He said crews confirmed the release at about 1 a.m. and the pipeline was shut down immediately on either side of the release area.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Heather Lauer said a wetland area of about one acre was affected by oil that had traveled about a mile down an intermittent stream. She said an environmental contractor had been called to begin work on the cleanup.

Rangers at the Oak Glen Nature Preserve were also looking through the area, but there were no immediate reports of injuries to wildlife.

Fire Capt. Steve Conn told The Cincinnati Enquirer that residents near the preserve said they had smelled petroleum for days. Conn said it wasn’t known how long the pipeline had been leaking.

Ron and Sharon Worsley, who live near the nature preserve, told The Enquirer they had smelled oil but thought it was from the diesel he uses in his tractor. They weren’t feeling worried Tuesday.

“When I am around the stuff, I am less sensitive to it,” Worsley said. “I wouldn’t want to be swimming in it, but these things happen.”