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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ryan Hagerty / USFWS

It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.

Read More Show Less
Valerie / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A coalition of some of the largest environmental groups in the country joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Trump administration's maneuver to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
beyond foto / Getty Images

By Kimberly Holland

Children who eat a lot of gluten in their earliest years may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerance, according to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source.

Read More Show Less
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

Read More Show Less
orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less