GRENLOCH LAKE RE-OPENS TODAY AFTER COMPLETION OF CLEANUP
(12/P60) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection, NJ TRANSIT, Washington Township Mayor Barbara Wallace and the Gloucester County Health Department are jointly announcing that Grenloch Lake will re-open Saturday for fishing and other water-related recreational activities following completion of the clean-up of a fuel spill that occurred on Jan. 12.
“We have worked cooperatively with county and local officials on a thorough and closely-monitored cleanup of Grenloch Lake to ensure it can be safely enjoyed by area residents,’’ said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “We are pleased the work has been completed in time for the unofficial Memorial Day kick-off of the summer season.’’
“This is great news for the residents of Washington Township – particularly as we prepare to enter the long Memorial Day weekend,” Mayor Wallace said. “We have worked closely with the experts at DEP throughout this entire process to ensure the health and safety of our residents. I would like to thank the DEP for their efforts.”
“From the very start, we have assured our neighbors in Gloucester and Camden counties that NJ TRANSIT was committed to do everything necessary to remediate the impact of January’s fuel spill – while remaining a continued and consistent presence within the community,” added NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein.
An estimated 26,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a fuel storage tank at a NJ TRANSIT bus facility in Washington Township. The leak was caused by a failed gasket. The DEP, NJ TRANSIT and local health officials jointly decided the lake, a popular fishing destination that scales Gloucester and Camden counties, be closed for remediation.
Under DEP supervision, NJ TRANSIT and its contractor, Clean Venture Inc., removed the residual petroleum contamination from Grenloch Lake and adjacent wetlands. Clean Venture deployed more than 2,000 feet of containment boom, as well as several boats, pumps and vacuum trucks, to remove product from the water.
An estimated 9,200 gallons of diesel fuel was recovered from NJ TRANSIT property and Grenloch Lake, in addition to impacted waterways within Gloucester and Camden counties, while an undetermined amount of fuel evaporated. In addition, some 680 tons of contaminated
soil was excavated, and more than 140 tons of oil-soaked absorbents and debris were removed from the spill area.
The results of the most recent surface water sampling and fish tissue analysis showed no detection of any contaminants relating to the spill. As a result, the DEP recommended that the lake be re-opened, subject to the normal statewide fish consumption advisories (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/dsr/njmainfish.htm).
Booms and other absorbent materials are being removed from the lake today to prepare for Saturday’s re-opening. Contractors will continue with re-vegetation in area where significant soil scraping was performed. The release of turtles rehabilitated by Tri-State Bird Rescue in Newark, Delaware is scheduled for early June, while trout stocking is expected to resume in the fall.