HEBRON — One year after more than 1,500 gallons of fuel oil leaked from a Hebron Station School tank and into adjacent wetlands, the Department of Environmental Protection has concluded its site monitoring and declared the area safe to walk.

But the case remains open.

“A draft report is in the process of being reviewed, after which it will be finalized and made available to the public,” said Karl E. Wilkins, DEP’s acting communications director.

The report will cover the beginning of DEP’s involvement on Dec. 27, 2013, through Sept. 11, when the DEP said no more oil could be absorbed from the site. In total, 66.7 percent, or 1,011.5 gallons, were recovered from the 1,515.9 gallons released during the Christmas Day oil spill, Wilkins said.

Environmental officials have been on site since late December 2013, after fuel oil leaked from the school’s tank room on Dec. 25, 2013. About 1,100 gallons seeped through discharged pipes into nearby wetlands off Station Road.

School officials closed the school for more than a week after the spill. The gymnasium, which is next to the oil tank room, was closed for two months while state environmental and school officials monitored air quality.


The oil leaked out of the school basement tank as it was being filled by a driver from the C.N. Brown oil company of Paris. A total of 192 gallons was recovered initially from the wetlands next to the school by sorbent pads, but most was captured in ice and snow in an area about the size of a football field.

Although environmental officials were on site almost daily throughout the winter months, recovery of the oil in the wetlands could not start until the ground began to thaw in April.

At that time, a vacuum truck and sorbent pads were used to soak up as much oil as possible in the wetlands. The sorbent boom and hay bale containment at the base of the wetland remained in place to collect anything that could possibly escape.

“Any remaining oil will be left to natural attenuation,” Wilkins said. “There are no sorbent pads left in place as there is no longer any oil to collect. There will be no monitoring done through the winter months. The area is no longer off limits.”

Wilkins said it is hard to determine the overall cost of the oil spill because the spill-recovery costs, clean-up contractor and consultant were paid by C.N. Brown directly.

DEP paid for the well water and indoor air samples and some miscellaneous costs. The DEP costs were under $30,000, not including staff time, Wilkins said.

DEP response team members will come back to Hebron in the spring for a final check of the site.

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