Smelly Stream Problem ID'd, Not Fixed

Heating oil blamed for polluting Anacostia tributary

By Tonya LaFleur
|  Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010  |  Updated 11:01 PM EDT
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A strong smell drifts from a Prince George’s County, Md., stream and into the yard of nearby neighborhoods. The suspected culprit: Heating oil leaking from an underground storage tank.

The Wells Run tributary flows through Hyattsville and University Park toward the Anacostia River.

After getting several complaints this week of a strong odor, investigators ran tests and determined that the substance causing the problem was oil.

The bigger problem facing local and state officials is not just cleaning up the mess, but how to keep it from happening over and over again.

An oily smell near the stream is not unusual after a big storm, Prince George’s County officials told News4. 

The pollution has been a persistent problem reported by University Park officials, according the Gazette.com. 

Despite a year of meetings, leaders of three municipalities impacted by the smelly stream have yet to agree on how to solve the issue.

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