About eight gallons of diesel fuel spilled as a Clarkstown school bus fueled up at a school district facility at the Felix Festa Middle School complex in West Nyack Wednesday afternoon, according to firefighters.
Dennis Rodriguez, second assistant chief of the New City Fire Department, said the 3 p.m. fuel spill was compounded by heavy rain at the time. However, Rodriguez said school district employees followed district procedures designed to handle just such an incident.
Rodriguez said district workers were able to prevent the spill from reaching stormwater catch basins and they quickly spread absorbent material to soak up the fuel.
Rodriguez and seven other volunteers from the New City Fire Department spent about an hour at the school complex making sure a clean up operation by school workers and a contractor took place safely. As a result of the spill, hazardous materials officials from Rockland County and the Clarkstown Police Department were also brought in to assist with the investigation of the incident.
Rodriguez said that as he arrived at the school complex he was met by school employees who had copies of the district's emergency procedures on handling fuel spills and the employees followed the procedures properly. He said the fuel spill had spread to a parking area because of the rain, but the response by district workers prevented the fuel from polluting waterways or becoming a fire hazard.
The emergency operation was cleared up about 4:15 p.m. As New City volunteers were in West Nyack, other New City volunteers were called in to be on standby in case of other emergencies.