26 Aug

Olive oil spill into Baltimore harbor probed

Workers with the state Department of the Environment and the city Fire Department plan today to flush a 2-mile stretch of sewer leading to the harbor after it was contaminated over the weekend by a 6,000-gallon olive oil spill at an East Baltimore business, authorities said.

By Gus G. Sentementes,
photo by Karl Merton Ferron,

While these agencies are involved in cleaning the spill, which leaked olive oil into the area around the Canton waterfront, city police were investigating the possibility that the leak was caused by a vandal who broke into the business and opened a valve on a container holding the oil, authorities said.

Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman, said that an employee of Pompeian Olive Oil Co., in the 4200 block of Pulaski Highway, arrived at work early Saturday, noticed the oil leaking into a storm drain, discovered the break-in and reported it to authorities.

Fire Department Capt. Paul Demme said the department was notified about 2:30 p.m. Saturday that olive oil had entered storm drains behind Pompeian. Demme said the oil is not toxic but can pose a danger to wildlife.

Moses said the loss of the olive oil was estimated at $90,000.

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