HEBRON — A Hebron parent of two SAD 17 students said she and others want answers at Thursday night’s public meeting about the Hebron Station School oil spill.

“It just maddens me. It just maddens me,” repeated Michelle Campbell, owner of Hair Plus Salon in Norway.

Last week, Maine Department of Environmental Protection officials disclosed that most of the oil from a 1,900-gallon spill in late December at Hebron Station School leached into nearby wetlands.

The oil leaked out of the school basement tank shortly after midnight Dec. 25 as it was being filled by a driver from the C.N. Brown oil company. The accident forced about 135 elementary school students to be relocated to Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris for more than a week.

Campbell was one of only a dozen or so parents at at the Jan. 14 meeting with school officials and representatives of the DEP, the Maine Drinking Water Program and the Maine Center for Disease Control seeking answers on how the leak occurred and what the ramifications were.

At that meeting, they were told the majority of the oil was believed to be contained underneath the slab of the oil tank room. It has since moved, in part, through the school’s perimeter drainage system into the wetlands, according to Jessamine Logan of the DEP.


A small amount is being absorbed in pads in the wetlands, but Logan said state officials won’t try to dig it out of the snow and ice at this time because they believe disturbing the earth could cause more environmental damage.

“I think they got questions they didn’t expect and they just have the easy answers,” Campbell said. “It was very upsetting. This is our school. This is our town water. I don’t agree that they should just wait and see.”

Campbell said she hopes many other parents and concerned citizens will turn out and demand answers during the second informational meeting beginning 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at the Hebron Station School.

Campbell said it appeared state officials are looking to protect the affected wetlands on a short-term basis only. “We want to protect it long term,” she said. The environmental impact to animals, fish, recreational activity and much more in the area and beyond is at stake, she said.

Randall Dustin, a local resident, said he wants to make sure Bog Brook isn’t compromised by the oil spill. The brook, which is about 1,157 feet from the school oil tank, according to DEP officials, is not in jeopardy at this time, Logan said. The farthest the oil has traveled from the site of the spill is 590 feet, she said.

“A lot of folks don’t realize the brook is pretty unique,” said Dustin, who has worked for years to protect the brook that he believes is the only Class A stream in Androscoggin County. It flows through Minot and Mechanic Falls before emptying into the Little Androscoggin Rover.


“How big and dangerous is this?” he asked about the spill. “I never really got an answer.”

Officials from SAD 17 and the DEP agreed last week to hold a second public meeting to update residents after Hebron Selectman Jim Reid and others asked for more information.

Reid said the board has developed questions they want answered at the Jan. 30 meeting. They include an explanation of what happens when oil gets in the ground; where the oil is under the ground; where, how and when the oil is likely to surface; what can be done to clean it up; and the environmental impacts of the cleanup and the oil that can’t be cleaned up.


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