MADAWASKA (AP) – Environmental officials say it could take two to five days to finish cleaning up a waste and heating oil spill into the St. John River.

Workers from the Department of Environmental Protection, Clean Harbor Environmental Specialists Inc. and the Madawaska Fire Department’s hazmat team worked Sunday and Monday to clean up the spill.

The oil spill, which officials said came from a waste-oil tank in the cellar of Larry’s One Stop, was reported by employees of Fraser Paper Inc. at about 9 a.m. Sunday. By Sunday afternoon, an oil sheen was spotted as far west as Grand Isle, eight to 10 miles downriver.

The spill was estimated at more than 150 gallons and was staying on the U.S. side of the river.

“We’ve got quite a mess,” said Carl Allen, oil and hazardous materials specialist with the DEP. “It could have been quite a lot worse.

“We’ve pumped out more than 100 gallons of it,” he said. “We are working to keep it out of the Fraser waterlines, and we are checking other areas of the river.”

New Brunswick and Canadian environmental officials have been notified of the spill.

, but no oil has been found to have traveled to the Canadian shore. By noon Monday, 1,800 feet of booms had been deployed to contain the spill.

AP-ES-08-31-04 0217EDT



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