Truck dumps heating oil

Heating oil spills into Manalapan Brook.

By: Melissa Hayes
   MONROE — Approximately 2,900 gallons of heating oil spilled into a stream that flows into Manalapan Brook when a truck tipped over on Spotswood Gravel Hill Road 6:38 a.m. Tuesday.
   According to police, Paul Fatum, 25, was driving the heating oil truck, owned by K.W. Rastall Co. of North Brunswick, north when he drove off the road, causing the truck to tip.
   "He initially told the officers when he was driving down the road he thought he saw something coming at him from the left and he moved slightly to the right and his tires went off the paved portion of the road," Monroe police Detective Sgt. Lawrence Linke said.
   When the weight of the truck tipping over caused a hole in the tanker portion of the truck, the heating oil was dumped into the stream, Detective Sgt. Linke said.
   Capt. Raymond LeBrun of the Central Monroe Fire Department said his department was the first to respond.
   "The Fire Department was initially in charge of the scene and then it was turned over to HazMat, then to the Department of Environmental Protection," he said.
   He said the Fire Department initially contained the spill and checked for any spreading. It also assisted the Middlesex County HazMat team in making a dike to contain the oil.
   K.W. Rastall Co. is responsible for the cleanup and hired All State Power Vac, DEP spokesman Fred Mumford said.
   "Work continues in Manalapan Brook to recover any recoverable oil," Mr. Mumford said Wednesday.
   He said a slight sheen of unrecoverable oil entered Manalapan Lake in Jamesburg Wednesday, but no fish or wildlife have been harmed.
   Mr. Mumford had no estimate of how long the cleanup effort would take, but said the DEP would be monitoring it daily.
   "It’s day-by-day right now," he said.
   Mr. Fatum was not injured in the accident and was issued a summons for careless driving, Detective Sgt. Linke said.