BREWER, Maine — A routine check at Bangor Car Care on Wilson Street last week led to the discovery of an oil spill at the used car dealership that required cleanup by the Department of Environmental Protection.
“It was smaller than small,” Glen Geiser, general manager of Bangor Car Care, said Friday. “It was a few gallons of oil that spilled out. The drum was a 50-gallon drum that was empty that spilled out.”
City and DEP officials estimate that some 40 to 50 gallons of old oil “spilled into a drainage ditch out behind Sparks Avenue,” City Engineer Frank Higgins said Friday.
While it is a relatively small amount, “it’s not insignificant,” he said.
DEP and Clean Harbors, a company that provides hazardous waste disposal and emergency cleanup response, “went out and absorbed what they could with absorbent boons and pads. They picked up contaminated brush and vacuumed up contaminated water,” Higgins said. “It contaminated about 100 yards of the ditch.”
Rodney Butler, Brewer’s code enforcement officer, said he and Geiser walked the lot on April 25 and noticed the spill near two oil storage tanks.
“They were both upright when we got there, but we assume one got knocked over,” possibly by a snowplow, he said.
DEP officials told Butler that about 40 gallons of oil spilled into a ditch located next to the business.
Geiser “contacted DEP on the 26th or 27th and the DEP was out there on the 27th and cleaned it up on the 29th,” Butler said.
Geiser said DEP officials were at the site only for about two hours and added that the bill for the cleanup and disposal of the contaminated materials was about $1,500.
“We’ve had bigger spills than that in the garage,” he said.
Higgins said he was especially interested in the cleanup because his son, Darian Higgins, an oil and hazardous materials specialist, was dispatched to Brewer to assist with the cleanup.
Since oil floats, the cleanup did not require any removal of soils, Higgins said.
“It’s kind of a wet area, so the stuff kind of floated on top,” he said.