Ball Pond Road Oil Spill

New Fairfield, CT - Region I

Site Contact:

Gary Lipson
OSC

lipson.gary@epa.gov

302 Ball Pond Road
New Fairfield, CT
response.epa.gov/BallPondRoadOilSpill

Latitude: 41.4660000
Longitude: -73.4960000

On October 28, 2004, EPA was notified by the National Response Center of an approximate 2500 gallon oil spill in New Fairfield, Connecticut. After verification with the CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) Lipson was dispatched at 1830. Upon arrival, the OSC met with DEP responders, the director of the new Fairfield Emergency Management Agency, the engineering consultant for New Fairfield and cleanup contractors that were working to contain and recover the oil. It was believed that the return line to a 4,000 gallon underground heating oil storage tank, located at the New Fairfield Police Department Headquarter, 302 Ball Pond Road had ruptured. The backfill over the tank had already been excavated and the feed and return lines exposed, as part of the investigation to determine the cause of the release.

Once the oil was released from the system, it followed a subsurface drainage system to a small surface channel. It was then channeled though a culvert under Ball Pond Road continuing between two homes to a series of catch basins and then under Overbrook Drive. From there, the drainage channel leads to an outfall into Ball Pond Brook where containment boom has been placed, approximately 1000 - 1500 feet from the source. Ball Pond Brook feeds Candlewood Lake and potentially contributes a feeder stream to Margerie Lake Reservoir, a drinking water source for the City Of Danbury. According to the DEP responders, the majority of oil was contained within the surface drainage channel and the subsurface in the vicinity of the tank. There were petroleum odors detected downstream, but little to no oil was seen in any of the deployed boom. The Danbury Health Department was notified and drinking water will be tested as a precautionary measure, but the reservoir is not believed to have been impacted.

During the initial response, the cleanup contractor was vacuuming free product out of catch basins and placing (and changing) absorbent pads and boom along the surface drainage path. They have been continuing that effort and have now excavated under the storage tank and been removing oil and impacted gravel from that area. The drainage channel was flushed with water and that oily water mix was pumped into an on-site frac tank. The DEP and the town’s engineering firm and cleanup contractor will be investigating the subsurface area around the tank and drainage path in a continuing effort to recover remaining subsurface oil. Prior to departing the site, the OSC issued a Notice Of Federal Interest to a Town Selectman.

The DEP will continue to be the lead regulatory agency overseeing the cleanup work being performed.




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