About 5,685 fish and amphibians were killed in the unnamed tributary of Donnels Creek behind R.D. Holder Oil Co.’s 2219 Folk Ream Road distribution site, according to Joel Buddelmeyer, the acting district law enforcement supervisor for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife District 5 office in Xenia.

Buddelmeyer said investigators are still determining both who might be responsible and the source of the kill, but believe it to be petroleum-based. The investigation is expected to continue for at least one to two weeks.

“They’ll possibly be criminal charges or restitution,” Buddelmeyer said. “We’re still trying to develop who the suspect or suspects are at this point.”

R.D. Holder officials declined to comment on Wednesday afternoon, but they have said the site contained only lubricants and no fuel products.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency found evidence of a release of ethylene glycol into the tributary before safeguards such as a dams and booms were put in place, spokeswoman Heather Lauer said. Ethylene glycol is often used in antifreeze and is known to kill fish.

The substance left the tributary hours after entering the water, she said.

Several species of fish died in the tributary, including bass, catfish, suckers, sunfish and darters, and amphibians such as frogs and salamanders. Several crayfish also died in the tributary.

The area where the deaths occurred spans several miles, beginning at Detrick Jordan Pike and ending at Folk Ream Road.

A formula is used to figure restitution costs that includes a dollar amount set for each type of species killed, Buddelmeyer said, as well as investigative expenses.

It has been determined that three other sites under investigation in Montgomery County, including an 11,000 fish kill at Little Beaver Creek in Kettering in the Little Miami River watershed, aren’t connected to the oil company fire.

On April 19, about 50 agencies responded to the fire at the Holder company. The fire was sparked by static electricity when employees transferred a liquid into a tanker, and burned for more six hours.

Several crews placed a boom and a dam in the creek to protect it from runoff during the fire, but not before the chemical likely got in the water, Lauer said.

Holder also installed concrete pads and a dike to capture the lubricating oil runoff during a catastrophe.

The EPA had said on Monday the safeguards contained any liquid not burned off. The EPA also had no other plans for additional water and groundwater sampling because there’s no other concern for residents in the area.

Holder has temporarily relocated its headquarters to its Bellefontaine office.

Several fire departments lost thousands of dollars worth of equipment during the blaze.

Jennifer Cotterman, the Bethel Twp. Fire Department assistant fire chief, estimated it lost close to $6,000 to $7,000 worth of equipment, including an unmanned deck gun, hose, a saw and other fire gear.

Lisa D’Allessandris, the Clark County Emergency Management Agency Director, said she expects to have all of the damage estimates from the participating agencies gathered by May 4.

The loss of equipment won’t disrupt day-to-day operations in Bethel Twp., Cotterman said.

“Fire departments are pretty flexible,” she said. “We can work around anything.


teven E. Avery, 56, of Bohannon, VA, Billy J. Avery, 81, of Virginia Beach, VA, and the corporation Sea Solutions, Inc., all pleaded guilty yesterday in Norfolk federal court to various environmental crimes stemming from their activities in the ship scrapping business.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement that the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen. The three will all be sentenced on July 12, 2012. Steven and Billy Avery each face a minimum 30 days and a maximum of 1 year in prison, Sea Solutions, Inc., faces up to a $500,000 fine and five years of probation.

According to court documents, Steven E. Avery and Billy J. Avery operated the defendant corporation, Sea Solutions, Inc. In February 2010, Sea Solutions, Inc. purchased a vessel known as M/V Snow Bird for the purpose of scrapping with the knowledge that it contained a quantity of petroleum products and other pollutants. Despite knowing that these waste products were onboard the M/V Snow Bird and needed to be removed, the defendants commenced scrapping operations with the pollutants onboard. Over the course of several months, witnesses complained of pollutants emanating from the M/V Snow Bird. Finally, in October of 2010, the defendants caused a major spill of oil, oily water, and other pollutants from the M/V Snow Bird into the Elizabeth River. The cleanup operation removed several thousand gallons of oily waste from the Elizabeth River and the shoreline at the cost to the United States of over $66,000.

“America’s waterways must be protected from companies that look to cut corners by discharging oily waste water illegally,” said David G. McLeod, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criminal enforcement program in Virginia. “Improper waste disposal endangers not only the environment but human health. EPA is committed to making sure criminal violations of environmental laws are not tolerated.”

This case was investigated by agents from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph L. Kosky and Melissa O’Boyle are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

Senior District Judge Joe Billy McDade of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division, has found All-Feed Processing & Packaging Inc. in civil contempt of court for failing to allow the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to inspect its Galva facility between May 4 and July 5, 2011. The Alpha-headquartered company has been ordered to pay $31,000 in fines for contempt and $10,964.95 in attorney’s fees.

“All-Feed Processing & Packaging’s continuous failure to allow proper OSHA inspections, along with its history of severe violations, led OSHA to seek court intervention to ensure its workers are safe,” said Greg Baxter, OSHA’s acting regional administrator in Chicago. “We are pleased that the courts have put the workers’ welfare first, and upheld federal standards requiring employers to allow OSHA access to full-shift inspections to ensure work environments are healthful and safe.”

McDade also determined that the company’s refusal to allow subsequent inspections of its pet food research and packaging facility in Galva unless OSHA would agree to limitations on time and conditions constituted clear and convincing evidence of a deliberate attempt to evade the warrant requirements issued by the district court in May.

In November 2011, OSHA cited All-Feed for 23 safety and health violations at its facility in Galva, including willful violations of OSHA’s air contaminant, respiratory protection and hearing conservation standards. Some violations were cited under OSHA’s “general duty” clause, including failing to provide appropriate fire and explosion protection in locations where concentrations of combustible dust existed. All-Feed contested the proposed fines, which total $758,450.

All-Feed Processing & Packaging has been inspected by OSHA 12 times since 2000, resulting in significant enforcement actions on six occasions.