River runs through it
No casting aspersions here, this has happened to us. On January 2, 1988, 4 million gallons of diesel spilled into the Monongahela River, 25 miles upriver from Downtown Pittsburgh when a tank of the Ashland Oil Company collapsed at Floreffe*, Pennsylvania. At the time it was the largest inland oil spill in US history, though there have been some larger inland spills since.
Two issues are going to arise. First of course are health and public safety impacts. Right now there are some big impacts as water and power usage has been curtailed across several counties as a result of the new spill. In the long run there is also how public perception views the incident which will impact those counties much longer into the future. But obscure references R us. There was once a study of public perceptions following the incident.
* I really am curious how a Pennsylvania community was ever named for a Wallonian Abbey? I have no idea. It might even stump the erudite NS commentariat?