A jet fuel distribution company has pleaded guilty to dumping spent fuel into a waterway at Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
Ogden Aviation Fueling Company of Virginia said that it illegally spilled about 7,300 gallons of used jet fuel into a drainage ditch that connects to the Potomac River, according to a plea agreement entered in federal court. Under the plea agreement, Ogden will pay a $200,000 fine.
Ogden operated the fuel storage and distribution system at Dulles from 1988 to 1998. As part of that operation, the company collected storm water contaminated with jet fuel and stored it in a large onsite tank. Another company removed spent fuel from the tank before discharging treated wastewater into a drainage ditch.
On October 11, 1996, workers left the pumping system unattended, and the system began dumping jet fuel into the waterway along with the wastewater. Dissolved fuel from the spill was detected as far away as Broad Run, a tributary of the Potomac River. Ogden was able to recover most of the spent fuel during cleanup operations. The company no longer operates the fuel distribution system at Dulles.