On 20 November 2007, at approximately 1730, the Emergency Planning and Response Branch Phone Duty Officer received a NRC report of an earlier No. 2 oil release from an underground storage tank (UST) at 6 Canal Street in Westerly RI that quickly migrated into the Pawcatuck River.
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At approximately 1300, the Westerly Fire Department had responded, followed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM), Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The release occurred when Petro Fuel Corporation was delivering No. 2 heating oil to a UST of unknown capacity at 6 Canal Street.
The released occurred as a Petro Fuel delivery driver was filling the UST and the No. 2 oil began to flow out of a vent pipe over which the driver had parked his vehicle. From the vent pipe, the fuel traveled over the parking lot to a nearby storm drain, once in the storm drain, the oil traveled approximately 300ft down the drain pipe to an outfall and into the Pawcatuck River. It is estimated that approximately 60-80 gallons was released from the UST.
The fire department deployed sorbent pads around the storm drain, and sorbent boom around the outfall and in two other river locations. Petro Fuel hired two clean-up contractors to address impacts to the parking lot, storm drain, and the Pawcatuck River. On 20 November, the clean-up contractors cleaned the parking lot surface, the catch basin in the storm drain, deployed boom at one additional location on the river, skimmed oil from the river, and removed oiled debris around the outfall.
Clean-up operations were stopped overnight and scheduled to commence the next morning.