November 25. 2013 8:35PM

State will cover costs to clean up Difeo oil site in Derry

Union Leader Correspondent

DERRY — Money from a state fund would pay for the cleanup of low level petroleum contamination found on the property known as the former Difeo oil site, according to officials.

And the property can be cleaned up and turned into a park or sold if the town opts to, said Mike Fowler, public works director.

Fowler gave the Town Council an update last week on the status of the property. Councilor Thomas Cardon has said the site should be turned into a park, while other councilors have suggested the property should be sold.

The town purchased the property in 2009 and has been recently clearing brush and other debris from it, Fowler said. A number of storage tanks that date to 1912 have all been removed, along with concrete slabs, he said.

In the process, some low petroleum contaminated soils were discovered.

“In this particular instance, it’s a low-level contaminant; it’s not a solvent, it’s not a chemical that has to be dealt with,” Fowler said, adding that the low-level contamination doesn’t pose a threat to humans in its current position.

After the soil was identified and stockpiled, the town received word from the state Department of Environmental Services last week that the cleanup and removal costs will be covered by the state.

“In this particular case, what was discovered will be transferred off site and basically destroyed,” Fowler said.

Councilor Al Dimmock said he was glad to hear such possible future costs would be covered by the state.

“The state will pay for it; that’s my main concern,” Dimmock said.

Fowler said the fund has already been established as the Difeo site was approved a number of years ago by the state.