CINCINNATI – Environmental Protection Agency officials say they believe local drinking water is safe despite thousands of gallons of diesel fuel spilling into the Ohio River late Monday.

EPA and Coast Guard officials estimated about 5,000 to 8,000 gallons of the fuel spilled during a routine transfer at Duke Energy’s W.C. Beckjord Station in New Richmond, about 20 miles southeast but upstream of Cincinnati.

The spill was discovered at about 11:15 p.m. Monday, according to Duke Energy officials. Crews were able to stop the release by 11:30 p.m.

“The diesel fuel, which is a reddish color, appears to be along the Ohio side of the river in small pockets,” EPA On-Scene Coordinator Steven Renninger said. “The biggest pocket is several miles downstream.”

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