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01.30.2018 (Newington) - Update - On December 27, 2017, a resident reported a diesel fuel odor to town officials. The Town Manager immediately directed town personnel to locate the source of the odor. The source was a diesel fuel leak in an underground vault at the Board of Education bus garage on Garfield Street. The vault contained shut off valves that terminate the flow of fuel from the adjacent above ground tank to a remote dispensing pump via underground fuel delivery lines.
Once locating the source of the leak, town personnel stopped the flow of fuel and reported back to the Town Manager. Environmental remediation specialists were then hired and have been on scene since the leak was detected. The release of diesel was the result of a significant breach to an underground fuel delivery system with approximately 18,000 gallons of fuel having been leaked. Initial findings point to a valve that deteriorated and failed whereby releasing the fuel; the lines and tank are not implicated. The system was installed approximately 12 years ago and included multiple leak prevention technologies, all of which failed.
There is no further threat of additional contamination to the environment because the leak has been contained, however, there still exist pockets of diesel fuel within the waterways that may gradually appear on the surface. There are booms of absorbent material in the brooks to catch the residual fuel.
It is also likely that because the released fuel migrated under the bus garage that the garage may need razing to excavate the contaminated soil below. To date, in excess of 6,000 tons of contaminated soil has been removed from the site.
Although the final cost of remediation has yet to be determined and insurance coverage is not conclusive, the Town Council voted to allocate 5 million dollars in emergency funds by seeking short-term financing.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection continues to remain on scene and has been invaluable in its guidance to the town.
The project is quite challenging to town officials, but they are committed to a successful and cost-conscious result without sacrificing the quality and sanctity of our precious environment.
Press contact: Ben Ancona, Newington Town Attorney
Benjamin Ancona Jr.
Attorney at Law
360 Maple Hill Avenue
Newington, CT 06111