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SHARON Diesel fuel leaks from generator, flows into stream near hospital

Thursday, November 8, 2001

The Elks Lodge reported a suspicious odor in the area.
SHARON, Pa. -- Authorities said at least 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into Pine Hollow behind Sharon Regional Health System's hospital and into Pine Run late Thursday.
The spill was contained in Pine Run a couple hundred yards downstream, well before it reached the Shenango River. A hazardous materials crew was on the scene this morning cleaning up the fuel.
The Mercer County 911 center got a call from the Elks Lodge on the Shenango Valley Freeway around 9:45 p.m. reporting a suspicious odor.
Police and fire units went to the scene and determined it was the smell of diesel fuel and found fuel running down the hillside behind the hospital.
Firefighters were able to contain the flow in Pine Run just east of the Sharon Honda dealership.
Source: Police said the hospital had been testing its backup power generator, which is diesel-fueled, earlier in the day. There was a malfunction in the fuel system that allowed fuel to leak out onto the rooftop near the emergency power system.
The fuel flowed off the roof and into a storm drain, which carries surface water away from the hospital parking lots to Pine Run.
The state Department of Environmental Protection and the federal Environmental Protection Agency were notified of the spill, and Sharon Regional said it will work with the DEP and an environmental contractor on a cleanup plan.