Downed Utility Pole Causes Lake Oil Spill


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The western end of Verona Park today with oil-absorbing materials

When a tree tipped over in the wee hours of the morning Monday on Park Avenue, it took out a utility pole, knocking out power in the immediate vicinity for a few hours. But it was also responsible for a small oil spill in Verona Lake.

According to an employee for Allstate Power Vac,  the remediation company hired by PSE&G to clean up the oil, about 15 gallons of an oil similar to mineral oil ended up in Verona Lake after the tree knocked the pole over. The oil, which was used as a transformer to cool down the electrical wires in the pole, was washed into the street and then the sewer at the bottom of Hathaway Lane by the heavy rain. The sewer dumps into Verona Lake, just upstream of the small bridge on the westernmost edge of the lake.

By the afternoon, Allstate Power Vac employees had set up a dam of absorbent materials on the downstream side of the bridge, as well as in front of the sewer grate on Park. The Allstate employee said that the material would soak up 85 to 90 percent of the oil, and that the work would be done by the end of the day today.

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Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan moved to Verona in 1989. A long-time journalist, she has been on the staff of Money, Sports Illustrated, Bride’s and Redbook magazines. Her articles on health and parenting appear in a variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and Family Circle. She and her husband Greg have three school-aged children, and are members of Our Lady of the Lake Church. You can reach Julia at [email protected]


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