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Diesel Fuel Spill Affects Two Miles of Rockaway River

Melissa Benno

Sunday, August 17, 2014 • 7:10pm

This story is a follow-up to TAP into Montville's initial story 'Diesel Fuel Spill at Municipal Fields in Montville' dated Aug. 13.

MONTVILLE, NJ - More than 400 gallons of diesel fuel were mistakenly spilled into the Rockaway River on Tuesday, Aug. 12, according to a report released by Captain Jeffrey Paul of the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety.

The spill occurred when a driver for Finch Fuel Oil, registered to Veryak Petroleum Enterprises of Kearny, delivered diesel fuel to the former location of the Montville Township Department of Public Works (DPW), according Montville Police Chief Rudy Appelmann. DPW has not been at that location since 2005.

The call came to the Montville Township Police just after 3 p.m. on Aug. 12, and police and firefighters were dispatched to the scene, according to Capt. Paul's report. Police and fire responders then placed a call to the Morris County Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team and the Parsippany HazMat team to respond.

After the HazMat teams arrived, it was determined that the fuel spill had migrated from the fuel station located at 86 River Road to the Rockaway River via the storm drains.

The HazMat team placed absorbent materials at the spill site, booms in the river at various locations to absorb and contain the fuel, and they used vacuum trucks to collect diesel fuel floating on top of the water, the report indicated.

The absorbent materials were bagged for proper disposal. Finch Oil Company hired a private clean-up contractor which began remediation Tuesday night, and the HazMat teams remained on-site until midnight.

The report further indicated that two miles of the Rockaway River were affected by the spill, but the NJ Department of Environmental Protection is continuing to monitor the recovery operation.

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