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Police: Attempt made to conceal fuel spill


June 21, 2010
CHARLTON — The scene of a recent diesel and oil spill was tampered with, as evidence indicates someone washed the site down before police arrived, according to Police Chief James Pervier.

"The site was compromised," Pervier said immediately after a Monday, June 21 briefing on the spill. "It was hosed down before we got the call [Friday]."

Charlton Welding & Repair owner Larry McKissick II, whose business has been deemed responsible for the spill by the state Department of Environmental Protection, denied the charge. He said that when he first arrived after learning of the spill only a stain of contaminants remained.

"The tanker was not hosed down," he said.

In addition to local police, the state Environmental Police and Attorney General's office is also investigating the matter, Pervier said. The cleanup effort is expected to wrap up this week.

Clean-up started after the spill occurred sometime around Thursday, June 10 when an estimated 3,000 gallons spilled from a tanker truck at the business on Griffin Road, according to the DEP.

McKissick, who has admitted to not reporting the spill to the DEP, has blamed the spill on vandals who allegedly tampered with fuel locks. From there, the contaminants flowed south through a pipe under Route 20 and into the wetlands around the Cady Brook Condominium complex on Southbridge Road (Route 169).

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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