LEWISTON — Roughly 1,500 gallons of largely recycled vegetable oil spilled Wednesday morning during a delivery at Bates College.

Firefighters responded to the scene where supervisors called in the Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies, including the city’s Fire Prevention Bureau, which will conduct an analysis of the incident, according to Lewiston Fire Department Duty Capt. Wallace Veilleux.

“No one was hurt and there is no danger to the community,” Bates spokeswoman Mary Pols said in a written statement.

A tanker truck carrying the biofuel was making a delivery to the school’s maintenance facility plant when a hose became detached from the truck, Veilleux said.

The biofuel spilled on the ground and ran down a driveway to the manholes the city has on Russell Street, Veilleux said. Crews covered the manholes with tarps in an effort to prevent the fuel from entering the stormwater system.

A Lewiston firefighter blocks the flow of recycled vegetable oil that was spilled Wednesday from a tanker truck at Bates College in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

An area near the college’s Cutten Maintenance Center was closed to traffic, along with the Merrill Gymnasium parking lot, while the school worked with the DEP to clean up the spill, which would likely continue throughout Wednesday and possibly into Thursday, Pols told the Sun Journal.

The biofuel is composed largely of recycled vegetable oil, but contains a trace amount, or 0.01%, of ultralow-sulfur diesel fuel because biofuels are not subject to federal excise tax, according to Pols. Adding low levels of diesel fuel enables the IRS to track biofuel distribution, she wrote.

That means a full truckload of 6,300 gallons would contain 10 gallons of ultralow-sulfur diesel. On Wednesday, roughly 1,500 gallons had spilled.

Pols said the biofuel product is part of Bates’ effort to use green energy sources.

Lewiston firefighters block the flow of recycled vegetable oil Wednesday from entering the sewer along Russell Street in front of Bates College in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

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