Crews work to clean up oil spill in Charlton, Mass.

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June 15, 2010, 8:03 pm

(NECN: Kenneth Craig, Charlton, Mass.) - All eyes have been on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the people of Charlton are dealing with a spill of their own. An estimated 3,000 gallons of fuel spilled into local wetlands, and crews are working to clean up the mess.

Environmental cleanup crews have been on site for four days straight.

At this watershed near Route 20 in Charlton, 3,000 gallons of spilled diesel fuel covering nearly an acre of water and land. 

The spill originated sometime late last week right up the road at Charlton Welding & Repair.   

Officials say the valves on a tanker capable of holding 7,000 gallons of fuel were opened. The contents poured into the stream.  

This spill borders a condominium complex.

The drinking water well for the homes is below the stream now coated in fuel - crews will continue testing that water - so far drinking water is safe.

1300 gallons of diesel had been removed by Tuesday afternoon - with still hundreds of gallons to go.

Crews are using a variety of common methods to cleanup -- the most powerful involves flushing thousands of gallons of water downstream, then vacuuming it up and separating off the oil.   

Officials say it'll be a while before they get this all cleaned up, that's step one, the second step figuring out who is responsible.

Officials say the tankers owner Larry McKissick is at fault.  

Tuesday he was out of the area and unavailable to comment.

But authorities say he told them vandals damaged and unplugged the tanker.

They say whoever pulled the plug will have to pay.

Tags: Charlton, oil spill, Kenneth Craig
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