Quantcast

Mysterious Oil Spill on Massachusetts’ Charles River Spurs Major Emergency Response

Popular
The Charles River in Waltham, Massachusetts on Oct. 13, 2013. Bill Damon / CC BY 2.0

An oil spill on Massachusetts' Charles River drew a major emergency response Wednesday night, as several fire trucks and emergency vehicles, including a hazmat team, raced to help with the cleanup, 7 News Boston WHDH reported.

The spill was detected in Waltham, a town about 12 miles west of Boston. Authorities were alerted by a report of the smell of fuel coming from a patch of river behind Shaw's Supermarket, state police said.


"The truck got down here with the deputy and they had a strong odor of oil and a definite sheen in the water," Waltham Fire Chief Tom MacInnis told Boston25News.

Containment booms were placed on the river to stop any oil from spreading downstream. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also arrived on the scene, and the private cleanup organization National Response Corp. was called in to assist Wednesday into Thursday, The Boston Globe reported.

"We don't know how much has spilled," DEP spokesman Ed Coletta told The Boston Globe. "Oil like this, it basically collects at the surface of the water."

In total, cleanup crews vacuumed up around 300 gallons of mixed oil and water, NBC10 Boston reported.

The spill was contained by 8 p.m. Wednesday night, but DEP and the Waltham police and fire departments continued to investigate the source of the spill, Boston25News reported.

"How does an oil spill happen here?" local resident Maureen Green asked Boston25News. Green said she was especially worried about the wildlife. "There are so many ducks and geese in this area. I take all the kids that I watch down here and we feed the ducks," she said.

The Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) Rita Barron Fellow Lisa Kumpf stopped by the spill to investigate Thursday and reported that authorities were responding responsibly.

"The oil was contained and there was a hazardous waste barrel on site," Kumpf said, as CRWA reported on Twitter. "I also spoke with Ed Coletta at MA @MassDEP, who said that they traced the source to an outfall pipe and are looking at manholes nearby to further investigate the source."

Investigators found a large amount of oil around 0.2 miles upstream, inside a storm drain system and covering several manholes, Coletta further told The Boston Globe. He said they had taken samples from the oil gathered near the manholes to see if they match what is in the river.

"We think they do," he said.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

jenifoto / iStock / Getty Images

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many people consider granola bars a convenient and healthy snack and enjoy their flavor and versatility.

Read More Show Less
A common green darners (Anax junius). Judy Gallagher / Flickr

By Jason Bittel

It's that time of year again: Right now, monarch butterflies are taking wing in the mountains of northwestern Mexico and starting to flap their way across the United States.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
fstop123 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

At EcoWatch, our team knows that changing personal habits and taking actions that contribute to a better planet is an ongoing journey. Earth Day, happening on April 22, is a great reminder for all of us to learn more about the environmental costs of our behaviors like food waste or fast fashion.

To offer readers some inspiration this Earth Day, our team rounded up their top picks for films to watch. So, sit back and take in one of these documentary films this Earth Day. Maybe it will spark a small change you can make in your own life.

Read More Show Less
JPM / Getty Images

Gluten is the collective name for a group of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley and rye.

Read More Show Less
Denali national park. Domen Jakus / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

By Stephanie Gagnon

Happy National Parks Week! This year, between April 20 and 28, escape to the beautiful national parks — either in person or in your imagination — and celebrate the amazing wildlife that calls these spaces home.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Sesame, three months old, at Seal Rescue Irleand. Screenshot / Seal Rescue Ireland Instagram

On Friday, Seal Rescue Ireland released Sesame the seal into the ocean after five months of rehabilitation at the Seal Rescue Ireland facility. Watch the release on EcoWatch's Facebook.

Read More Show Less
Beer packs of Guinness will now come in a cardboard box. Diageo

By Jordan Davidson

Guinness is joining the fight against single use plastic. The brewer has seen enough hapless turtles and marine life suffering from the scourge of plastic.

Read More Show Less
Maskot / Getty Images

People of all ages are spending more of their day looking at their phones, computers and television screens, but parents now have another reason for limiting how much screen time their children get — it could lead to behavioral problems.

Read More Show Less