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Nashua Fire Department responds to oil sheen on Nashua River

Union Leader Correspondent

April 13. 2013 2:21PM

After responding to an oil sheen Friday, the third found in the same spot in the Nashua River since February, Nashua Fire Department officials say they are investigating to determine what caused the three oil spills, which are all believed to be related.

Nashua Fire Deputy Chief Michael O'Brien said that the department responded Friday by placing oil absorbent booms in the water affected by the oil sheen, and that they will remain for at least a few days.

"The oil appears to be coming from one of the storm drains, the same storm drain the last two sheens appear to have come from," O'Brien said.

Previously, Department of Public Works officials said they were warned by the state Department of Environmental Services that after the initial leak in February, which was the biggest, significant rain events, like the one Nashua experienced Friday, will cause leftover oil to be flushed out the pipe.

"It seems to be part of an ongoing event, we are investigating it," O'Brien said.
At this point in the investigation, O'Brien said he couldn't say if it the oils spills were criminal in nature.

"It is hard to say if it will turn into a criminal investigation, we have to determine what the problem is, what caused the spills and go from there. It could be accidental," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said more spills could occur during future rainstorms, as city officials still don't know how much oil is left in the drainage system.

"The most recent sheen is spread over a large area, but that is only because there isn't much of it so it is all floating at the surface," O'Brien explained.

Public Safety Environment Health Nashua

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