Pennsylvania state officials take action after homeowner finds suspected oil leak

Pennsylvania state officials are taking action after a Delaware County homeowner found a mysterious leak in her basement.

Pennsylvania 's Department of Environmental Protection tells FOX 29 it's working to track the source of the leak that's placed suspected home heating oil in Kim Yachera's Delaware County basement--stained a cellar wall and she believes threatened her health.

"I smell it. It's so strong after a very hard rain that you can't breathe in this house," Yachera said

In emailed answers to our questions, the DEP says it's working with Ridley Township and the owner of a daycare on the site for permission to dig for what it calls "soil bore sampling" to pinpoint the source of the oil.

It was this spring Yachera noticed the black liquid in the basin of her sump pump and the dark, sheen along her wall.

She alerted the township which produced an engineering report that--according to the DEP--revealed there had been an oil leak in 1990 on the former home of the Story Winn Oil Company just up the hill from Yachera's house.

Ken Harper, who owned property in the area, says he remembers the leak and others do as well.

"They haven't called the right people and asked the right questions. They need to do test drills on people's property and see how bad it is," he said.

The DEP says its Emergency Response Team and members of its Hazardous Sites Cleanup program have visited the site and performed monitoring inside Yachera's home, at a daycare on the former oil company property and in the VFW nearby.

It says the "initial" screenings have not found "conditions of concern."

"If there's any contamination the woman needs to have her property cleaned, the soil remediated and move on," he said.

In a careful response to FOX 29's questions the DEP writes: "...there are no "current" threats to human health at this time...