(Ben Lambert/The Register Citizen) An overflowed heating oil tank at the Sons of Italy Hall, 34 Center St. in Torrington prompted a hazmat response in Naugatuck River early Monday. ‹›
By Register Citizen staff
Posted: 09/19/16, 8:28 AM EDT
(Ben Lambert/The Register Citizen) An underground heating oil tank at the Sons of Italy Hall, 34 Center St. in Torrington, which overflowed into the Naugatuck River, prompted a hazmat response in Torrington early Monday morning. Above, a team removes a combination of oil and water from the underground tank on Center Street.
TORRINGTON, CT - An overflowing heating oil tank spilled into the Naugatuck River in Torrington, setting off a hazmat emergency response Monday morning.
The oil tank at the Sons of Italy Hall, 34 Center St., overflowed sometime between Sunday night and early Monday, according to Kenneth LeClerc, the emergency response coordinator for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Emergency Response & Spill Prevention Division.
The tank had been partly filled with sand, and water had drained into it in recent months, LeClerc said at the scene.
He said there was about three feet of an oil and water mixture in the tank.
City firefighters responded shortly before 8 a.m. to Franklin Street near the hall and reportedly found a sheen on the water, caused by what appeared to be a petroleum product.
They asked DEEP to respond and crews worked to collect the oil from the water.
The tank was outdoors and had been abandoned, DEEP spokesman Dennis Schain said. He said rain mixed with heating oil ran into the hall’s parking lot and then into catch basins that discharge water into the east branch of the river.
A DEEP contractor was on the scene at about 11:30 a.m. working to contain the oil in the river, trying to recapture it and to prevent any more from getting into storm drain system.
A member of the work crew said they expected to be there for about an hour or two.
“We are not seeing impacts to aquatic life at this point,” Schain said.
Emergency crews cleared the scene, but drivers were encouraged to use caution on Franklin and Center streets because of the presence of contractor vehicles in the area.