Crews From DEP Continue to Clean Up Diesel Fuel Spill 

Crews from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection are busy in Columbia Falls, cleaning up a diesel fuel spill.The spill has worried the folks who run a nearby fish hatchery.About 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a parked tanker truck into the Pleasant River in Columbia Falls Monday night into Tuesday morning.Members of the Department of Environmental Protection have been on scene since. “Basically stop the flow of oil wherever we can. Contain it and then get it up and out of the environment.”They’ve had to do several things on site.”They did some digging and a lot of booming and padding. Work along the area that’s been affected.”The spill also affected the Pleasant River Fish Hatchery. The diesel fuel came down the river, into their intake system.”We’re raising endangered Atlantic salmon for restoration purposes.”Dwayne Shaw, Executive Director of the Downeast Salmon Federation, says they’ve had to change their daily work routine. “We’ve had to put carbon filters into the system. DEP has been great and all the oil response crew has come out in force.”Shaw says the hatchery houses 135,000 Atlantic Salmon.He says they have toxicologists coming in to test the salmon. This isn’t the first time they’ve dealt with spills.”Unfortunately, this is about the fourth in seven years. Usually much smaller from household systems that have sprung a leak. So this is a much larger event and we are more concerned about it. It’s about 3 1/2 miles upstream from here.”Another concern, the smelts spawning near the hatchery.The Department of Agriculture has already run tests.”They’ve okayed it. The smelts are okay this year. They have checked them.”Which is a relief for those who smelt commercially.”Good. Nice. I was worried about sales. I have fish peddlers on the road.”DEP expects to be at the site until at least the end of the week, if not longer.