Concerns grow over last month's oil spill in Newington - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Concerns grow over last month's oil spill in Newington

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The site where the oil spill happened in Newington still smells of fumes (WFSB) The site where the oil spill happened in Newington still smells of fumes (WFSB)

A month-old oil spill in Newington has gotten so bad, buildings may need to be torn down.

Channel 3 was the only station at a public meeting Wednesday, where new information was revealed.

It all stems from a 19,000-gallon spill that happened right behind town hall.

At the spot where it happened, the fumes can still be smelled and you can see the scope of the damage, but on Wednesday night, it was learned that the bus garage may need to come down because of this.

Two days after Christmas, 19,000 gallons of diesel oil spilled from the Newington town fuel pump, where town vehicles go to gas up.

“There are two pumps in town. One at our garage and one at the highway garage. It’s a split system,” said Newington Superintendent of Schools William Collins.

Then, officials blamed a sub-pump for the spill and through the ice and snow, environmental crews tried to soak up the oil.

It was then that officials said the situation was under control.

Now, nearly a month later, the site is now fenced off. There’s an excavator and there’s a 40-yard hole that’s at least 10 feet deep, and it’s hard to tell what’s mixed up in the water at the bottom.

On Wednesday night, it was learned that the scope of the cleanup could grow much larger than just the hole. It could extend to the Newington bus garage next door.

“They say that it may be more cost-effective to get at, apparently, there’s some fuel underneath it, and they say it could be more cost effective to raze the building,” Collins said.

Wednesday night, the board of education, which is responsible for the garage, voted to give the town the power to tear the garage down. However, will that happen? It remains to be seen because getting answers from those who will make the decision was no easy task.

Town manager Tanya Lane was at the meeting and didn’t have a comment, referring Channel 3 to the town attorney instead.

Superintendent Collins says even he doesn’t know the fate of the garage.

“They may take it down they may not, at least they have the authority,” Collins said.

Residents have a lot of questions, especially when it comes to how much this will cost and any potential environmental impacts.

The school board couldn’t answer that on Wednesday, but more light will be shed on those aspects during a special meeting that will be held at town hall on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

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