On August 5, 2019, EPA was notified by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of a release of oil near a bridge in Gardiner, ME at Arcade Street. While the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) was conducting preparations for a bridge replacement project, which required digging along the footings of the bridge, a release of #6 oil occurred. On August 7, 2019, an EPA OSC was dispatched to the incident to assess the extent of the release and to determine any potential threats to navigable waterways. The release of the oil is located approximately 30-40 feet from the Cobbosseecontee Stream, which leads directly to the Kennebec River, located approximately 1,000 feet from the location of the release. Groundwater at the location is shallow – within four feet below the ground surface – and it is influenced by the adjacent Cobbosseeconte Stream. #6 fuel oil-contaminated soil is also being observed several feet above the water table.
The DEP responded to the incident before notifying EPA and has a contractor on scene to address the immediate threat from the release. As of the time of the EPA site visit, DEP placed boom in the stream, vactored approximately 1,000 gallons of #6 fuel oil from the location of the DOT excavation, and had removed approximately 2,300 tons of contaminated soil.
EPA is working with DEP to determine the support needed and to identify potentially responsible parties. The release has not been secured and an extent of contamination investigation is required to determine extent of the release.