Spa Creek has been plagued with a fuel oil spill for over a year now. A group of concerned Spa Creek neighbors met with a group of State, County, City and School representatives on Friday, May 10th to see what, if any progress was being made on the spill.
Chris Ralston, Program Manager, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) Oil Control Program provided the group with the following information.
- The Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) contractor has probed and knows mostly where the oil is in the soil, though MDE wants the them to do a little more of that in other places.
- The source is on AACPS grounds
- The current submitted, but not yet approved, mediation plan is an accepted technique to slowly pump oil-contaminated into a vacuum truck from strategically placed 4" well pipes
- MDE plans to come back and additionally ask for work to find and repair faults in the storm drain system
- Between sealing the pipe and removing the oil they would expect to see a drop in the effluent at the pipe mouth (leaking into Spa Creek) but there is not currently, nor are there plans for future quantitative monitoring
- MDE is short staffed and backlogged but there were indications that screaming and writing the governor, etc. can get us bumped up on the queue.
A tour was taken of the area surrounding the school where fuel oil has saturated the ground, and into the boiler room beneath the school. There does not seem to be any urgency to get this problem resolved and Spa Creek neighbors are going to have to be proactive to get results.