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Oil Spill in Bear Pond Cause Unknown, OEM Says

Authorities responded Tuesday afternoon after oil was detected in the water and caused a small odor.

Officials cleaned up an oil spill in Bear Pond Tuesday afternoon that caused a small odor on Maxim Drive, according to the Office of Emergency Management.

Officer Bob Haffner, OEM coordinator, said the oil was from an unknown source, and officials could not determine where it was flowing from.

The Hopatcong Fire Department, Hopatcong Police Department, OEM and Sussex County Health Department all responded to a call at about 12:15 p.m. from a motorist who saw the spill while passing the 400 block of Maxim Drive, Haffner said.

Fire department members put oil absorbent booms in the pond to soak up the oil and to prevent it from flowing further, Haffner said.

By about 1:15 p.m., the Sussex County Health Department was still working at the scene, and was putting pads in the water to absorb the oil.  

Haffner said when first reponders arrived there was a small motor oil smell, but it had gone away within a half-hour. No one suffered from any symptoms from the odor, he said.

Haffner said the spill had gone down a little within the first hour after the booms soaked some of it up, but is unsure of how long it will take to clean up.

"It all depends," he said. "It depends on the way the wind goes, and if it is a localized source."

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