TDEC to monitor hydraulic fluid leak into river


Posted 2/7/18

A hydraulic fluid leak into the Hiwassee River in Charleston does not pose a risk, according to authorities.

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TDEC to monitor hydraulic fluid leak into river


A hydraulic fluid leak into the Hiwassee River in Charleston does not pose a risk, according to authorities.

Lindsay Hathcock, spokesman for the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency, issued a statement Tuesday morning that a fixed base apparatus that unloads product for industrial use on the Hiwassee River in Charleston “has had a small hydraulic leak.” He added the hydraulic fluid — Ecoterra HVI hydraulic oil — “is specifically made for use in this environment, such as this waterway, to inherently minimize risk in the event of any leak.”

Hathcock said the device is being repaired and the situation is currently being monitored by local authorities and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has been notified.

The incident occurred at Smoky Mountain Transfer Corporation in Charleston.

Approximately 10 gallons of hydraulic fluid leaked in the incident. Hathcock said a scoop device swings from the pier to a barge to pick up materials and then delivers those materials to a conveyor belt on land.

“Some of the leak occurred when it was over the water, some of it was over the land,” he said.

Hathcock noted TDEC will “have the final say as to outcomes” from the leak.

TDEC Deputy Communications Director Kim Schofinski stated in an email that TDEC was notified about the discharge into the Hiwassee River.

"We cannot speculate as to potential impacts on public health or the environment, but we will monitor the area closely for any impacts in the coming days," Schofinski said.

According to the Smoky Mountain Transfer Corporation’s website — — the Charleston facility’s primary functions are to unload barges and railcars of bulk sodium chloride and potassium chloride.

“Products are stockpiled or trucked out primarily to the Olin Corporation, who has been a valued partner for more than 20 years,” the website stated.

According to the website, Smoky Mountain Transfer Corporation is the Charleston terminal for Smoky Mountain Coal.


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