BOSTON – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has assessed a $4,000 penalty to MIG Corporation of Acton for a release of diesel fuel to a branch of Walker Brook that occurred as a result of bridge repair activities in Becket. The discharge of diesel fuel to surface water is a violation of the Massachusetts Clean Water Act.
On April 5, 2012, MassDEP Emergency Response staff received a call from a concerned citizen regarding the presence of an oily sheen on a branch of Walker Brook where it crosses Route 20, near the junction with Route 8 and Bonny Rigg Hill Road in Becket. MassDEP personnel responded to the site immediately to investigate, and confirmed the presence of a petroleum sheen in the brook with diesel fuel contamination observed within the roadway right-of-way and along the stream bank. MassDEP personnel placed absorbent booms in the brook to contain the sheen.
MassDEP conducted an investigation, including interviews of Massachusetts Department of Transportation and MIG Corporation personnel, and determined that a trailer-mounted pump had previously been placed at the site to draw-down the brook and facilitate bridge repair. Although the pump had been removed from the location on March 29, 2012, MIG Corporation personnel acknowledged that there may have been diesel fuel spills that occurred during fueling of the pump, indicating that the diesel fuel contamination observed was likely due to those spills. Upon being notified of the evidence of the spills by MassDEP on April 5, MIG immediately arranged for the complete cleanup of the diesel fuel and restored the stream bank impacted during the cleanup.
In order to resolve the violation, MIG Corporation agreed to pay the $4,000 penalty. MassDEP also required that MIG Corporation re-train employees regarding appropriate response to spills of oil and hazardous materials, and the corporation must also purchased spill response equipment to be stored at its roadway construction projects so that MIG personnel will be able to contain and clean up minor oil spills quickly.
“Contractors working adjacent to waterways must be vigilant and clean up small spills quickly to avoid impacts to surface waters,” said Michael Gorski, director of MassDEP’s Western Regional Office in Springfield. “We appreciate that MIG Corporation arranged for prompt cleanup of the release, and is taking proactive steps to prevent this type of violation from occurring again.”
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.