DEP will clean Great Barrington kerosene spill; officials say no need for concern
GREAT BARRINGTON -- The state Department of Environmental Protection is expected to spend the week on Blue Hill Road after about 120 gallons of kerosene leaked from a 275-gallon tank that was being removed from a home last week, according to town and state officials.
The kerosene tank was being removed by a consultant from a garage at 30 Blue Hill Rd. when it broke. The reason why the tank broke is still under investigation by the DEP.
The kerosene flowed down Blue Hill Road to Fairview Terrace and a local stream that flows into Thompson Palmer Brook, which empties into the Housatonic River.
Catherine Skiba, a DEP spokeswoman, said Pittsfield-based environmental remediation service company Maxymillian Technologies has been contracted to contain the site and work with state officials to organize a cleanup.
The kerosene only poses a health risk if there is human contact, and the risk is dependent on the concentration and specific contaminants a person is exposed to, Skiba said.
"It's not in the drinking water, and the exposure is limited or not at all," Skiba said.
The DEP was in Great Barrington Wednesday through Friday, Skiba said. Between 40 to 50 cubic yards of sediment has been hauled away by trucks, according to Skiba, and absorbent pads and booms are also being used to soak up the kerosene.
Great Barrington Fire Chief Charles Burger on Wednesday said the department has received numerous calls, but he said people shouldn't be concerned.
He said kerosene was discovered several hundred yards downstream.
"There has been a lot of concern in the neighborhood, but the spill has been contained and the spill is well on its way to being fully remedied," Burger said.
DEP will continue to monitor and test the water and sediment in the area in the next several weeks.
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