U.S.: Tokorozawa fuel spill cleanup going well
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. Air Force officials, working around-the-clock to clean up last week’s fuel spill at the Tokorozawa Communication Site, hope to finish removal of the contaminated soil in about 10 days, according to on-scene commander, Lt. Col. Martin Granum.
On Tuesday, nearly 21,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a supply tank for a backup generator at the 374th Airlift Wing operated satellite radio installation about 20 miles northeast of Yokota.
“There is no permanent damage to the local community or environment, and the spill is contained at this site,” Granum said.
The system that malfunctioned is out of service, he added, and there’s no threat of another spill.
Granum said the Air Force has worked closely with Tokyo’s Defense Facilities Administration Bureau and Tokorozawa City officials.
A local firm specializing in site cleanup was granted a $250,000 contract by Yokota officials Thursday to remove the contaminated soil from Tokorozawa, according to a 374th Airlift Wing news release. The company had removed almost 1,000 cubic yards of soil by Friday evening.
“We anticipate this removal effort will continue into the middle of September, with overall completion of backfill and seeding by Sept. 24,” Granum said.
“I’m satisfied with our overall progress,” Granum said. “The disaster-control group and team at Yokota continue to work hard to ensure everything is being done as quickly as possible. We’ve had a great response from our med group, bioenvironmental engineers, contracting squadron, fire department and readiness people.
“Restoration began quickly, and the spill was contained the day it happened," he said.
An investigation continues into the incident.
The Tokorozawa facility is a small radio site run by 374th Communications Squadron personnel. About 10 people work at the location.