May 17, 2024

"BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — The cleanup continued in Bishopville on Friday evening after 250 gallons of contaminated transformer oil spilled days earlier. The spill stretches about five miles from rural neighborhoods through the downtown area.

At the end of the week, cones were still in place to detour drivers from areas where environmental contractors were taking soil samples and burning off the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)- contaminated oil waste.

Bishopville Mayor Luke Giddings said residents should expect these detours to last for the next day or two, maybe past that.

'And a lot of it's still a lot of question marks … They are continuing to do testing and I think they are continuing to look into it, while we are also cleaning it up. That way we know that we cleaned it up correctly and know the full extent of what's being dealt with,' Giddings said.

According to Dr. Adrienne Oxley, a chemistry professor at Columbia College, repeated and prolonged exposure to PCBs is cause for concern.

'The big concern when there is rain is that this is on a roadway, and it sounds like they are doing what they need, proper protocols to be able to contain this spill,' Oxley said. 'But when you do have the rain, there's the potential for the chemicals to end up in the soil and in the ground water. And once it's in the ground water, of course it can travel to other waterways...'"


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