Oil from Portland International Airport spills into nearby Fore River

Emergency crews, including workers from the Coast Guard and Department of Environmental Protection, were on hand to help stop hundreds of gallons of fuel from the Portland International Airport in Maine from contaminating the nearby Fore River.

The Morning Sentinel reports that the crews strung absorbent booms, much like Impact Absorbents’ XSORB Select and Fiber Duck Oil-Only Sump Skimmer boom, across the mouth of a cove near the east end of the airport’s runway closest to the river to stop the potential contamination from spreading into more of the water’s sensitive ecosystems.

State and city officials told the news agency that the spill was the result of an automatic pump at the new terminal, which failed to shut off, spilling as much as 600 gallons into a storm drain which leads to a retention pond and into the Fore River.

Clean Harbors said it was cleaning out the retention pond and that it appeared as if most of the oil spilled into a natural eddy within the cove, which helped prevent any further contamination.

Coast Guard officials said that a check downstream of the river showed that that some of the fuel had reached the Thompson Point Marsh, which was also scheduled to be cleaned up.

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