At approximately 1145 hrs, OSC Nalipinski arrived at the site and spoke with representatives from Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP), Abbott Middle School and Westford Fire Department (WFD). The OSC was provided the following information:
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The initial call in regard to the spill was received by MADEP from WFD on December 27, 2005. The initial report indicated that a 10,000 gallon underground storage tank (UST) appeared to have failed, releasing an estimated 1500 gallons of #4 heating oil to the soils and a storm water system to proximal wetlands. A revised estimate of the spill provided to the OSC by WFD estimate the spill at between 500-1000 gallons. During the initial response, WFD deployed absorbent booms and pads at the outfall of the drainage system to contain the spill and reduce free product flow into Stony Brook. MADEP notified Fish and Wildlife of the incident and contracted with ENPRO Environmental to provide the cleanup. The school was closed for the holiday break at the time of the spill and thus no staff or children were exposed.
The damaged UST was evacuated of all remaining product (approximately 7,500 gallons) and removed from the site. Summa canisters and photoionization detection equipment were utilized to perform air monitoring inside and along the perimeter of the building prior to allowing reentry of the returning staff and students to the school. There were no detectable spill-related contaminants recorded during this survey. Reconnaissance of the area performed by the OSC revealed intermittent sheens to Stony Brook and approximately 60-70 linear yards of heavily oiled rocks and vegetation in a swale located downgradient from the school. There were no evidence of oiled wildlife observed during the reconnaissance. Potable wells at three downgradient homes, located in close proximity to the swale, revealed no detectable oil-related contaminants.
The spill site is contained and recovery efforts are expected to continue throughout the next several weeks. An investigation into the cause, degree and extent of the spill is ongoing. Following the issuance of a Notice of Federal Interest to the Westford Superintendent of Schools, and after verifying that all current cleanup activities were not inconsistent with the NCP, OSC Nalipinski demobilized from the scene.