Letter

To the editor:

On December 18th a Fabian Oil truck tipped over while making a delivery heating oil to the Anderson residence on The Glenmere Road, spilling 1,700 gallons of heating oil.

Not a good thing. This is considered a “significant” spill. Both the topography of the location and the severe weather has made it harder to clean up and predict the flow of the oil through the fractures and faults in the bedrock.

In the two months following the spill, there has been lack of information and communication on all levels. This has caused frustration and mounting concern, not only for the Andersons, but for those in the surrounding, downhill, Horse Point Road neighborhood and the marsh.

Most of us first heard about the spill through the February 6th article in the Portland Press Herald, more than a month later! Additional coverage appeared in the Village Soup and the Friends of St. George (FOSG) alerted its members in the February 20th email bulletin.

Though the Town of St. George has no legal responsibility in such a spill, it could have made information available to residents on the town website or at the Town Office. Since it has not done so, an information gap opened, resulting in much confusion and misinformation.

To fill this gap, a group of neighbors has established contact and met with the DEP’s Dan Courtmanch. He is updating the group and FOSG regularly as test results become available.

The FOSG website at http://www.friendsofstgeorge.org/ has more detailed information and links and will continue to provide regular updates.

This is what we know at this point. Although the DEP responded within hours of the spill, bad weather slowed the clean up by St. Germain Collins, the company hired by Fabian Oil.

Cleanup of a 500-foot perimeter area is ongoing and directed and supervised by the DEP to include:

• removal of contaminated soil
• visual scans for standing oil within the original perimeter three times a week
• monitoring of five recently drilled monitoring wells near the original 500-foot perimeter
• expanded, fixed monitoring and visuals scans at level of the wetlands downhill from the spill site.

Anyone in the area who smells oil in their water should call the DEP at (800) 482-0777 immediately. This is an unpredictable, long-term waiting game.

Wende McIlwain
FOSG Chair

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