Amazon's NKY cargo hub spills 1,700 gallons of jet fuel

Environmental inspector: 'It was a large spill'
Posted at 3:04 PM, Mar 22, 2022

HEBRON, Ky. — The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet says a mechanical failure caused a jet fuel spill at Amazon Inc.’s air cargo hub at CVG Airport in Hebron, Ky., but the March 15 spill was contained before it caused environmental damage.

An incident report from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Fire Department said Amazon mechanics initially estimated the spill at between 15,000 and 16,000 gallons of jet fuel. But Amazon later informed the airport that the spill was 1,700 gallons, or 13% of the fuel tank that had a defective valve.

“The incident was handled in accordance with our approved environmental containment and remediation plans and at no point did it present any safety concerns to personnel or operations at our facility,” said Amazon spokeswoman Alisa Carroll.

John Mura, spokesman for the environmental cabinet, said the spill was contained.

“The fire department flushed the material into the drainage system that leads to an oil-water separator,” Mura said. “An environmental contractor pumped out the spillage and there is no indication that water ways were impacted.”

James McCloud, environmental inspector on Kentucky’s emergency response team, said it was one of the largest fuel spills he could recall at CVG in the last several years.

“It was a large spill,” he said. “It definitely got our attention.”

CVG spokeswoman Mindy Kershner released a copy of the incident report but directed questions to Amazon.

“The CVG team assisted with containing the spill and Amazon took over the incident,” she said.

The incident report indicates four fire department vehicles were dispatched and a dozen personnel were on-call during the incident, which lasted about two hours.

“Ladder 1 crews meet with aircraft mechanics and they advised they were changing fuel pump and when they pulled it out the fuel started flowing and there is no way to stop it from flowing,” read the initial report.

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