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Trenton Diesel Release

Site Contact:
Brian Kelly


Site Location:
2171 W Jefferson Ave
Trenton, MI 48183

9/2/22 Update

In the next couple weeks, environmental response contractors for NABA Management LLC will initiate a soil sample investigation to determine the extent of diesel contamination. Based on the investigation, the underground storage tank and contaminated soil will be removed. Daily monitoring of the storm system and outfalls continues.

8/31/22 Spill Update

Additional diesel found yesterday has been removed and work continues on test trenching to locate a potential oil plume and offsite pathway. EPA and EGLE continue oversight of the work. Protective booming remains in place in the Detroit River. Additional website updates will be made when there is new information.

8/30/22 Spill Update

Following last night’s rain, additional seep areas of diesel were found in the hospital parking lot. Minor sheening was detected in the city’s stormwater system. No diesel entered the Detroit River and protective booming remains in place.

Throughout August 30, environmental response contractors for the property owner NABA Management LLC continued assessment of potential offsite pathways, including cameraing the storm system, test trenching, and installing a bentonite seal around the hospital’s sanitary sewer. EPA and EGLE continue oversight of the work.

8/29/22 Spill Update

On Friday, cleanup operations removed all diesel oil from the city’s storm sewer. Over the weekend, no oil was detected. This morning, following heavy rain, oil was found on the vacant hospital’s parking lot and back in the city’s storm sewer. With this discovery, EPA has determined there may be a subsurface oil plume. The potentially responsible party is removing the oil from the city’s storm sewer and will begin excavation of the parking lot to determine the source of the oil. No additional oil has entered the Detroit River, but EPA continues to monitor the river and ensure protective boom is in the water.

EPA air monitoring in nearby residential areas today and over the weekend continues to show no elevated levels. 

8/26/22 Spill Update 

Response crews continued to investigate the surrounding storm water system for additional oil. During the search, diesel was discovered and removed in the city’s storm sewer near the vacant hospital. Protective booms were placed at the city’s outfall. During the oil removal, EPA conducted air monitoring to ensure protection of the public. 

Air monitoring will continue tomorrow on Saturday, and the booms will be monitored throughout the weekend. Cleanup work will resume Monday.

8/25/22 Spill Update

EPA continues to oversee the potentially responsible party’s efforts to pump diesel from the underground storage tank to secondary containers to be removed off-site. As of yesterday, 20,000 gallons of oil and 10,000 gallons of oil/water have been recovered from the tank and storm drain. An estimated 5 gallons of diesel fuel have reached the river. The amount of diesel fuel released to the environment – outside the tank, in the soil and storm sewer – that amount is unknown.

EPA continues to work with the PRPs to identify how the diesel leaked into the storm sewer.

8/24/22 Spill Update 

EPA believes the spill is contained and over the next couple of days the property owners will drain the storm sewer and jet the sewer lines to remove residual diesel. EPA will continue to oversee the potentially responsible party’s efforts to pump diesel from the underground storage tank to secondary containers to be removed off-site. EPA will also work with the PRPs to identify how the diesel leaked into the storm sewer. 

On Monday, August 22, a local resident noticed a light oil sheen coming from the storm sewer following a heavy rain. After rain, it is not uncommon to see light sheens from water running off a parking lot adjacent to the former Riverside Osteopathic Hospital at 2171 W Jefferson Ave., Trenton, that has been abandoned for 20 years. 

On Tuesday, August 23, the city of Trenton inspected the storm sewer and identified considerable sheen on the river, concluding it would not be from rain runoff. Boom was placed at the outfall of the river and after an exhaustive search, the city traced the diesel across the parking lot to an underground storage tank on the hospital property. The city notified EPA and the agency responded on site that day to assist. 

In coordination with the local fire department, Michigan EGLE and the Trenton city administrator, EPA contacted the property owner to gain access to the property and to positively identify the tank as the source of the leak. The property owners mobilized contractors yesterday to begin to pump out the diesel from the tank. The company also plugged the sewer and began to remove seaweed from the Detroit River containing oil. Air monitoring around the site and in the manholes shows no respiratory hazards exist from the oil.