The Maryland Department of the Environment has categorized the damage done to downtown Columbia's Lake Kittamaqundi by a diesel fuel leak as minimal, even though an estimated 500 to 600 gallons of fuel entered the lake, according to an office spokesperson.

Jay Apperson, deputy director for MDE office of communications, said that cleanup of the spill, which occurred at around 4 p.m. on April 14, is expected to last a week, although containment for the spill will remain in place for approximately four weeks.

Apperson said the diesel fuel came from a 100-gallon diesel fuel tank used to fuel a backup generator at the Vantage House, a senior citizen residential apartment complex, located in the 5600 block of Vantage Point Road.

The tank, which is fed by a 3,000-gallon storage tank, ended up leaking fuel into a storm drain system that feeds into the lake. 


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Apperson said approximately 1,000 gallons leaked from the tank and only 500 to 600 gallons made it into the lake.

He said MDE is still investigating how the fuel got into the system, and that the leak is contained to the north end of the lake. Apperson said MDE observed about a dozen dead fish in the lake after the leak.