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Ticonderoga oil spill could prove costly

Town awaiting DEC report, possible penalties

After a second oil spill in the last three years, the town of Ticonderoga is waiting to hear about possible penalties from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

After a second oil spill in the last three years, the town of Ticonderoga is waiting to hear about possible penalties from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

— The town could be fined $37,000 a day for each day it failed to report the oil spill, Malaney said, although she noted the town is cooperating fully with the DEC and is in discussions with the state agency.

“I’ve spoken to DEC a number of times and the town attorney has been in contact with them,” Malaney said. “We want to work with the DEC to make certain this doesn’t happen again.”

Not waiting for DEC action, Malaney said the highway department is already working to prevent future problems. Parent has since instructed highway workers about proper spill response and efforts are under way to install safety devices to stop further accidents.

In the spring of 2010 about two gallons of gasoline was spilled on the floor of the Ticonderoga highway garage. The spill was immediately cleaned up.

An unnamed community member learned of the accident and reported it to the DEC. That led to a DEC investigation.

While investigating the spill, the DEC officer saw an abandoned drain in the garage floor. Further investigation revealed the drain led to a dry well outside the garage.

The drain and dry well were installed when the highway garage was built in 1953 and had not been used since the 1970s.

Concerned about possible past contamination, DEC ordered Ticonderoga to have soil samples taken from around the highway garage. Those samples revealed pollution.

More than 1,000 tons of contaminated soil had to be removed from the highway garage site. Besides removing polluted soil, the highway department was required to connect the floor drain to the public sewer system, upgrade its containment systems, improve its fuel storage area and keep smaller amounts of fuel on site.

Those actions and fines cost Ticonderoga $275,000, Malaney said.

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