Oil spill shouldn't slow commute

Clean up of oil founding polluting the Norwalk River in Branchville continues, but is not expected to affect the evening commute on either Route 7 or the railroad line.

“It doesn’t effect Route 7 or the trains any more,” Ridgefield Fire Chief Kevin Tappe said at about 4:30 Friday, Feb. 19.

The oil leak was in the vicinity of Branchville station in Ridgefield on the MetroNorth's Danbury Branch Line, connecting Norwalk station on the main New York line to Danbury and going through Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding on the way.

"When we were working there, we had the trains slow down in that area, because we were working on the tracks and near the tracks, but they slow down for the station anyway," Tappe said.

Ridgefield firefighters got to the scene about noon and left the scene late in the afternoon, after the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) had arrived and called in a clean-up firm.

"The DEEP is still there and their clean-up contractor," Tappe said after Ridefield firefighters left about 4. "My guess is they'll be there a couple of days.

"It does affect West Branchville Road, because they have trucks up there, but it doesn't affect Route 7 or the trains."

The oil, noted around midday in the Norwalk River at several sites south of the Branchville train station, was traced to a pipe underground on a business property in the area.

“There’s a building there that houses a marble and granite business,” Tappe said. “We found oil coming from an underground pipe that goes under that building. We put booms in the river — absorbent booms and absorbent pads — this is a special fabric that doesn’t absorb water, it absorbs oil.

“We called DEEP. They arrived on the scene, they did some investigation.

“They found out, yes, it was the underground oil tank behind that business. They called in a clean up contractor to dig out that tank, then clean up the soil and the ground and any other contaminated water in the storm drains and things.”

One Wilton police unit and four Georgetown Fire units were dispatched to the area, and 12 Ridgefield fire Department personnel were involved.