DEEP expects Waterbury oil cleanup to take a few weeks - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DEEP expects Waterbury oil cleanup to take a few weeks

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DEEP responded to an oil spill in Waterbury over the weekend. (WFSB) DEEP responded to an oil spill in Waterbury over the weekend. (WFSB)

Environmental officials gave an update on a Naugatuck River oil spill in Waterbury, saying they expect the cleanup to take some time.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said its Emergency Response Unit provided new information about the cleanup effort.

A news conference happened at 2 p.m. at the Somers Thin Strip Company on Piedmont Street. 

Saturday, DEEP said anywhere from 4500 to 6000 gallons of oil leaked from the Somers Thin Strip Company after a frozen pipe inside the factory cracked.

DEEP said the fuel leaked into the pavement, soil and a catch basin.

A sheen was spotted in the Naugatuck River and appeared to be moving downstream toward Seymour and Shelton.

"At this point we've recovered everything that we can out of the watercourse. The catch basin from the discharge point all the way down to the river has been cleaned,” said Jeff Chandler, who supervises DEEP’s emergency response unit.

He said so far, they haven’t noticed any wildlife that has been impacted.

He added that the sheen of oil that's on the river now is too thin to be absorbed by the booms, but the rain heading our way will help.

Most of the cleanup is concentrating on removing contaminated soil and making sure what's left doesn't find its way to the water.

"Installing interceptor trenches and digging down into the groundwater to make sure we don't have groundwater contamination, at this point, it looks like we do not,” Chandler said.

It’s the second time in a little more than three months environmental contractors have responded to the brass city for a spill.

"It’s heartbreaking it really is,” said Kevin Zak, of the Naugatuck River Revival Group.

He heads up the nonprofit that is trying to restore and raise awareness for the river.

Back in the fall, a power outage at Waterbury’s Water Pollution Control Plant sent more than five million gallons of sewage into the river.

"I'm extremely upset and you want to compare it to that October 9th spill, I think it’s as every bit as bad, just in a different way. One is just more organic than the other,” Zak said.

DEEP continues to investigate and we're told the cleanup onsite at the company is expected to take a couple of weeks.

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