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UC Berkeley building reopens after fuel spill

December 12, 2011 |  2:18 pm

A UC Berkeley classroom and lab building reopened for final exams Monday after a diesel fuel spill from a basement tank over the weekend polluted a nearby creek that runs through the campus, officials said.

Students and faculty were allowed back into Stanley Hall after inspectors determined it to be safe and that air quality posed no danger, according to campus spokeswoman Janet Gilmore.

Cleanup efforts were continuing Monday along Strawberry Creek with federal, state and local authorities involved, but some of the 1,700 gallons of diesel fuel had reached San Francisco Bay, Gilmore said.

The leak was discovered Saturday after a malfunction in a pumping system that brings fuel to the tank for powering a backup generator; sump pumps in a lower basement pushed the liquid fuel into the creek. The cause is under study.

“We don’t know what failed on the mechanical end,” Gilmore said.

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-- Larry Gordon

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