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Conservation Commission To Pay Remainder of Oil Spill Insurance Costs

The board agreed to pay the $3,565 remaining in costs on last December's oil spill at the East Boston Camps.

 

The Westford Conservation Commission has agreed to pay $3,565 toward the cost of last year’s emergency oil spill at the East Boston Camps following their meeting on Wednesday night.

Of the $11,000 in damages , most of it was covered by the insurance of East Boston Camps caretaker George Fletcher, who caused the spill when diesel fuel leaked out of his tractor and onto trails at the camp and on the way to his home on Plain Road.

The incident could not go out to bid due to the urgent nature of the cleanup.

During the agenda item on the topic, the board also discussed whether the town’s insurance should have been involved in helping to pay off the debt, or whether Fletcher’s role as an independent contractor absolved the town of responsibility in that aspect.

Although policies may change at some point in the future, the board agreed to pay for the remainder of the cleanup from the Land Management account and a rotating fund approved by the 2011 Town Meeting that will begin at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2012, which occurs on July 1.  

R Gagnon July 02, 2012 at 10:45 AM
JJ, I heard about it the evening that the spill happened. The following day I was there at first light, saw the mess, then called the Westford PD at around 7:20AM that morning and they notified the FD. I escorted a member of the FD to the start of the spill then I went to work. I went back during my lunch break at noon. I found the town's response was not what I thought was adequate for the size of the spill. It warranted a lot more than a little speedy dri and some little absorbant pads. Also, after talking with Bill Turner of the ConsCom, I knew they were relying on George's estimate to determine the amount of the spill. I've been watching what's going on around EBC for some time now. Certain people have a long track record of embellishing the positive and downplaying the negative. Based on what I saw, oil floating on top of the rainwater and washing off the side of the road towards woods and wetlands, I thought this was probably another case of the latter. So, it was a combination of actually seeing the spill for myself and my distrust of certain people that prompted me to call the DEP for an objective opinion on the matter. I have not made any contradictory statements here nor do I have a personal vendetta against anybody. But, when I see someone missleading the tax payers and breaking rules that the rest of us have to follow then doing harm to the facility or environment in which it sits and driving away from it, I will call them on it regardless of who it is.
Martin Luther July 04, 2012 at 07:05 PM
I believe that you and the caretaker are not on speaking terms; therefore, who reported the spill to you rather than the WPD or WFD? Did this individual observed the caretaker leaving the scene of the spill? Why did this individual not report the spill to the WPD or WFD? Why did you wait until the next morning to report the spill to the WFD? When you returned at noon and were dissatisfied with the clean up effort, why did you not contact the WPD, WFD or the Town Manager?
R Gagnon July 06, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Another Westford citizen called me on the evening of the spill. She had been walking along the north road and met someone who had slipped and fallen on the spilled oil. I can't speak for the person who told me about the mess. She called me because she was concerned about it but was unsure what to do about it. I waited until I could see it for myself before deciding what I should do. I did go to the Westford PD and FD first thing the next morning. Do you think that repeating the process at noon would have yielded different results? You think watching the oil washing into the woods while Westford sits on its thumbs would have been a better idea? Why do you keep asking me to explain myself? Why don't you go to George Fletcher and ask him to explain himself? After all, he is the guy who caused the mess in the first place. Why didn't HE report it rather than just driving away from it? Go ask the ConsCom why they are helping George cover the cost of the clean up when any other contractor would be held responsible for it? I didn't make the mess. George did that. I saw to it that an objective authority, one who has no interest in covering George's behind, had oversight of the project. I'm glad I did and I would do it again.
R Gagnon July 06, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I tried to answer your questions but it did not get posted for whatever reason. Rather than ask me the same questions over and over, why don't you ask George why HE drove away from it and HE didn't do anything about it? I did what I felt was right at the time. Given the same circumstances, I would do it again.
Andrew Sylvia July 06, 2012 at 07:54 PM
R Gagnon, I've turned off auto-approved comments due to some complaints I got about the tone in here. When auto-approve is turned off, comments have to wait until I can approve, which can take time since I have about a dozen other things on my plate at any given point. I thought I had mentioned this here, I apologize for that.

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