EPA Overseeing Shelbyville Blast Cleanup - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

EPA Overseeing Shelbyville Blast Cleanup

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by Jason Lamb

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency announced they are now overseeing cleanup efforts in Shelbyville after this week's massive explosion and fire at the Southern Energy oil company.

City leaders from Shelbyville said they have been left in the dark as to why the federal involvement was necessary.

Shelbyville's city manager said he was told Friday that the EPA would be overseeing cleanup efforts by Friday afternoon, but he said he was never told why the EPA was getting involved.

Since the explosion and fire on Monday, the city has been helping clean up contaminated water and soil in a nearby water basin.

Even though cleanup efforts continued Saturday, the city manager said he doesn't know what type of cleanup the EPA is doing, or when it would be finished.

"They said they were taking it over, they did not give a reason," Shelbyville city manager Jay Johnson said.  "They told us our contractor was to stop, so we did."

The EPA said the Southern Energy oil company is now in charge of the cleanup, but the EPA is on hand to make sure the proper procedures are being followed.  The EPA said this is a common practice after explosions involving potentially harmful chemicals like methanol.

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