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Crews were at work in Norfolk last week removing contaminated soil along Route 44 after a tanker truck spilled more than 8,000 gallons of gasoline into the town’s drainage system on Saturday, Nov. 5. Photo by Jonathan Barbagallo

Norfolk continues spill cleanup

NORFOLK — Emergency response efforts continued this week in the wake of the Saturday, Nov. 5, rollover of a gasoline tanker truck on Route 44, spilling more than 8,000 gallons of gasoline into the town’s storm drainage system.

Route 44, which had been closed off east of the Village Green to allow for cleanup work, was reopened on Friday, Nov. 11.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Verdantas environmental consultants and Environmental Services Inc. joined the town’s public works department and sewer district, the State Emergency Operations Center, the Connecticut West Incident Management Team and several area fire departments in preparing for last weekend’s rain event, which turned out not to have the negative impact officials had feared.

Absorbent pads and booms were placed around the brook on Maple Avenue as well as downstream to collect any gasoline remaining on the water surface.

Ground monitors continued to show gasoline underground emptying into the brook.

According to Jonathan Barbagallo, the town’s assistant emergency management director and public information officer: “All efforts to clean and monitor . . .  properties are being done and will be done well into the future even as winter approaches.

Concerns about future property values and the long-term health and financial effects to local businesses is something that we all want answers to but can’t get easily or quickly due to the nature of this incident.”

Local fire departments have continued to monitor air quality in homes.

The state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security provided geographic information system mapping, which greatly increased the ability of involved parties to share information.

Cleanup and monitoring will continue throughout the week.

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