ENGLEWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – The photos may be fading, but the memories are still clear.
“It was a mess,” says Englewood Fire Chief Bud Bergman.
Bergman was among those who responded to a tanker truck that went over an Interstate 70 bridge and into the Stillwater River back in 1986.
“The driver thought he knew what the chemical was,” Bergman says. “The spelling he gave was a really bad chemical.”
With Englewood’s wells nearby, firefighters thought they had a major disaster on their hands.
Residents were asked not to drink any water from the tap, but soon firefighters learned the substance spilled wasn’t as bad as first feared.
“Turns out the spelling of the chemical was one letter off,” Bergman says.
Now ODOT wants to widen that Interstate 70 bridge, which means doing work in the river where the spill happened.
We called the Ohio EPA to ask if the work could dredge up any of the chemical, which Bergman says solidified and sank to the bottom of the river but was cleaned up afterward.
An EPA spokesperson says if anyone has concerns, they’ll address them.
We asked Bergman if he thinks it will be a problem.
“I don’t think so,” Bergman says. “It was actually downstream a little bit. Not where they’re going to be digging.”
In addition, Bergman says with its wells nearby Englewood tests the water there daily.
“It’s tested way more often than people realize to make sure nothing’s happening,” Bergman says.
Bergman believes the construction will actually add to the area’s safety, making it less likely a truck could drive off the edge once again.