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River advocates investigating full extent of Musconetcong River diesel fuel spill

by Douglas B. Brill Sunday April 05, 2009, 12:13 PM

River advocates are trying to assess the damage caused when diesel fuel spilled into the Musconetcong River from a truck stop in Bloomsbury.

The spill had reached the Delaware River last night. It is unclear whether the fuel is still spreading.

Tracy Carluccio of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, citing the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, said 100 gallons of fuel spilled into the Musconetcong from Travel Centers of America in Bloomsbury.

Beth Styler Barry of the Musconetcong Watershed Association said that estimate sounds low. She plans to kayak the river to survey damage.

"As far as what damage it has done, I hope to get a better idea of that today," Barry said.
Carluccio said the spill might appear larger than it is since the fuel has stayed on the rivers' surface.

"A hundred gallons can cover a lot of the surface of the water," she said. "It can make a sheen for a long, long distance."
The fuel is unlikely to damage the river bed since it has stayed on top of the water but it could stick to river banks and hurt wildlife there, Carluccio said.

Both advocates said a contractor has begun cleanup efforts.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection did not return calls Saturday and did not immediately return a call today.

Travel Centers of America could not immediately be reached today.


A worker for Northstar Environmental recovers oil product from an underground water and oil separator tank at the Bloomsbury truck stop where officials believe a diesel spill into the Musconetcong River originated.

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That's further downstream then a lot of people fish though. I don't think it will have that big of an effect on the turnout. As far as effect on wildlife, hopefully this doesn't do too much damage to the river and the wildlife that live in/use this part of the river.
 

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Check out the thread "Musky Oil Spill" for more details. We're keeping a very close eye on it. So far, so good. I was there again this morning...
 

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I wonder how many plans are getting changed b/c of this. What timing[down]
 

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Where did the spill originate?
Truckstops of America off the route 78 Bloomsbury exit. The truck stop found out about it when HazMat and the local fire company showed up[down]

One thing we are trying to learn is why their safety equipment didn't alert them to the overflow/release. This type of tank system would no longer be allowed on the Musky because of the C-1 protections put on the river from Saxton Falls downstream last June. But it is grandfathered in.

So far no fish kills...we're hoping it was a little as 100 gallons, but the smell downstream yesterday made me believe it had to be more. The 4 dams below the spill made it worse because they act to "emulsify" the oil into the water. Just one more reason for me to remove all those dams (as if I needed another reason:) )
 

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I wonder how they know it was just 100 gallons.. Hopefully they are right or not full of shit..
 

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We don't know yet. What we do know is this is not a fuel tank as in a tank that they pump diesel into the trucks from. It is some sort of containerized system that catches fuel runoff and groundwater (wish I knew more, but I don't). It was explained to me by someone who pumps these out. It is supposed to be pumped out after rain events and it sounds like this one was not. TA's logbooks will tell the DEP if they are in compliance or not. It will also tell us the maximum amount of gallons that the tank can hold. When I know more I'll post. Please let me know if any of you has better info - thanks! The Musky Watershed Assoc. is taking lead as I was working on all our behalves to write a big grant to remove another dam during all this mess. Grant is done so I'll get more involved in the morning, but in two trips we have not seen any big problems yet.

As for the river, the area affected is from the rt. 173 bridge at Greenwich/Bloomsbury line to Riegelsville at the mouth of the Delaware.
 
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