State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employees and contractors were at the site of an oil spill in Lake Hopatcong on Tuesday, February 6.

DEP spokeswoman Caryn Shinske told The Jefferson Chronicle they were continuing to contain diesel fuel and remove the oil from the containment area. She said recovery and removal of impacted ice is expected to continue for one to two weeks depending on weather conditions.

The spill was reported on Sunday when a call to the DEP tip line reported a sheen on the lake. According to Peter DiGennaro of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, the county’s hazmat team was also notified. The state and county teams coordinated their efforts to clean up the spill and investigate further, he told The Chronicle.

The DEP confirmed to The Jefferson Chronicle that Valiant Contracting, which is located on Prospect Point Road in Lake Hopatcong, is the responsible party, Shinske said. Officials at Valiant told the DEP there was a diesel spill from one of its fueling tanks about two weeks before the oil was found in the lake and that they removed the surface soil, but did not report the incident.

The county and state are coordinating the investigation of the spill, but a DEP representative said runoff from a recent storm could have directed the fuel to a feeder stream to the lake.

The DEP said Valiant is attempting to hire a contractor to take over the clean-up. The contractor will be billed for DEP staff and contractor costs, Shinske said. Neither the county nor the state made any statement on possible enforcement actions against the contractor.

Shinske told The Chronicle there was not indication there were any significant environmental impacts as a result of the spill.

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