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About 180 gallons of aircraft fuel seeped into an off-base flood control basin from a leak discovered at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station.

Iwakuni city personnel assisted the base in the cleanup operation immediately after the leak was found Friday, base officials said. Base personnel working in the installation’s northern portion were testing a fuel system Friday, when they noticed the smell of oil.

On Tuesday, Iwakuni city officials said they have no lingering environmental or public health concerns related to the incident.

“It was determined that the leak was caused by a fuel cell line that was improperly connected in the fuel system being tested,” Capt. Stewart Upton, a base spokesman, said Tuesday. “We believe the leak totaled about 180 gallons of JP8 aircraft fuel.”

Upton said base environmental officials quickly contained the spill using pump-trucks, absorbent pads and special barriers that extend above and below the water surface to stop the fuel from flowing out of the Runway Relocation Project canal area.

“The effects of the spill on the environment within the air station canal area are dependent upon the nature of the fuel spilled and environmental conditions,” Upton said. “Fuel spread out in the water usually does not remain for long … and will evaporate quickly.”

He said the leak never caused a threat to drinking water, and examination of the area Saturday showed “no film on the water to be found, indicating there wasn’t any contamination. The cleanup of the leaked fuel is complete.”

Yamaguchi Prefecture, Iwakuni city and Yuu town officials asked the base to use strict preventive measures and precautions to keep such an accident from recurring, a Japanese news report said Tuesday. But an Iwakuni city official said they believe there will be no harm. “The base took measures to prevent the oil from leaking, and some that they could not get leaked to an off-base flood-control basin,” the city official said.

The local government plans no water tests, the official added, or further efforts to clean the water because of the leak.

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