Diesel leak discovered at York prison in Niantic

East Lyme - A broken underground pipe is being blamed for a recently discovered diesel fuel leak on the grounds of the York Correctional Institution, the Department of Correction said.

Representatives from three state agencies along with town officials from East Lyme met on Thursday to discuss plans to contain the leaked diesel and develop a mitigation plan, according to a statement released by the state Department of Correction.

Discovered by maintenance staff, the spill was caused by a broken underground pipe connecting the above-ground diesel fuel tank to the facility's main generators and was stopped shortly after it was discovered, according to the Department of Correction. The leaked fuel was contained to the grounds of the prison.

The state is conducting daily soil testing and monitoring exploratory wells for contamination.

The Department of Correction, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Public Health were all involved in Thursday's meeting.

Kropp Environmental, a state licensed spill clean-up contractor was retained to manage the remediation plan.

"As a precautionary measure, representatives from the three state agencies will continue to work closely with East Lyme officials to ensure the safety of the town's water supply, which remains everyone's top priority," according to the DOC statement.

A broken underground pipe is being blamed for a diesel fuel leak discovered earlier this month on the grounds of York Correctional Institution, the Department of Correction said.

Representatives from three state agencies along with town officials from East Lyme met on Thursday to discuss plans to contain the leaked diesel and develop a mitigation plan.

Discovered by maintenance staff, the spill was caused by a broken underground pipe connecting the above-ground diesel fuel tank to the facility's main generators and was stopped shortly after it was discovered, the DOC said in a released statement. It is unclear how long the pipe was leaking.

The leaked fuel was contained to the grounds of the prison. Kropp Environmental, a state-licensed spill cleanup contractor retained to manage the remediation plan, remains on site, creating exploratory wells and testing soil for possible contamination. The tests will also determine how much fuel leaked and how far it traveled, said DOC spokeswoman Karen Martucci.

East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica said Thursday he has been assured that the state is taking the necessary steps to monitor for any soil and well water contamination.

"I don't think they know the extent of the leak or the timing, although it did occur over a period of time," he said.

He said the leak was discovered at least two weeks ago. The town was notified and has been regularly updated on the situation, Formica said.

The Department of Correction, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Public Health are all involved in monitoring the situation, Martucci said.

"As a precautionary measure, representatives from the three state agencies will continue to work closely with East Lyme officials to ensure the safety of the town's water supply, which remains everyone's top priority," according to the DOC statement.

g.smith@theday.com

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