HEBRON — Oxford Hills School District officials got permission Friday to implement a new water system that will allow Hebron Station students to go to their school Monday.

The approval was the last step to ensure that all safety measures were in place to allow the students back to school after an oil spill two weeks ago, said Superintendent Rick Colpitts, who made the announcement Friday afternoon.

Clean water will be trucked to a holding tank in the school to prevent the use of the well while the cleanup continues. Tests indicate the well water was not contaminated, Colpitts said.

He said a community forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria at Hebron Station School to discuss the situation. Representatives from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be available to address questions.

About 1,900 gallons of oil leaked out of the school basement tank Dec. 24 as it was being filled by a driver from the C.N. Brown oil company in South Paris. The accident forced about 135 elementary students to relocate to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris this past week.

More than 1,700 gallons of oil is sitting beneath the school’s basement tank room, which is on a concrete slab, and a small amount leaked into nearby wetlands.

The cleanup plan will be determined by where the oil is, weather conditions and other factors, said Jessamine Logan, a spokeswoman for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Maintenance workers at the school asked C.N. Brown on Dec. 23 to fill the 2,000-gallon tank because the fuel gauge showed it was running low.

An oil truck came the next day and pumped in about 160 gallons before a whistle that indicates there is space in the tank stopped blowing. Usually, Colpitts said, if the whistle stops, it means the tank is full, but in this case, the fuel gauge continued to read empty so the driver decided to continue pumping.

Oil overflowed and sprayed out of several parts of the tank, covering its self-contained concrete bunker under the school with about a foot of oil.

School officials were assured by C.N. Brown that someone would be back to pump it out immediately, but Colpitts said that never happened. The room emptied of oil within six hours and was found that way by school maintenance workers on Dec. 25.

The cleanup is expected to be lengthy and to have a fairly significant cost attached to it. No responsibility for those costs has been assigned.

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