May 24, 2018
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Geologists testing wells after Wallagrass gas spill

By Jen Lynds, Special to the BDN

WALLAGRASS, Maine — Geologists from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection were testing private wells in the area of a gasoline spill Wednesday afternoon to determine whether drinking water had been contaminated as a result of an accident on Tuesday.

Samantha Depoy-Warren, spokeswoman for the DEP, said Wednesday that several homes with wells are near the site of the Route 11 spill, which resulted from an accident Tuesday afternoon. A tanker truck owned by John T. Noble of Caribou overturned after becoming unstable when it drifted close to the soft shoulder of the roadway. It was hauling 8,000 gallons of fuel for Daigle Oil Co. in Fort Kent.

Warren said that close to 5,000 gallons spilled when one of the fuel compartments was breached.

Most of the gasoline made it into the bedrock alongside the road and may have seeped into the groundwater.

“Our geologists will be developing a strategy for further testing and treatment if there was contamination,” she said.

Carol Ouellette of Fort Kent, who was in the area at the time of the accident, said firefighters used extrication equipment to pull the driver, who has not yet been identified by the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department, from the cab. Firefighters also sprayed the tanker with fire-retardant foam.

The driver escaped serious injury in the crash, according to DEP officials.

Crews remained on the scene to control the gas vapors, and another truck arrived to pump the remaining fuel from the overturned tanker.

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