A faulty gasket caused a line to a storage tank at a NJ Transit bus terminal on Route 42 to leak fuel into an adjacent storm drain, which spilled into the lake and spread the odor of diesel to surrounding neighborhoods, according to the DEP. The DEP does not intend to bring sanctions against the state transit agency, Ragonese said on Thursday.
A spokesman for NJ Transit, John Durso, declined to comment on whether that agency planned legal action over the failed gasket.
"Our priority has been to make sure the cleanup was done in a clean and efficient manner," he said.
Officials of the Gloucester County Health Department and Washington Township signed off on reopening the lake, which borders Gloucester Township in Camden County, according to DEP.
"This is great news for the residents of Washington Township, particularly as we prepare to enter the long Memorial Day weekend," Mayor Barbara Wallace said in a statement.
More than 130 dead animals were found in and near Grenloch in the days after the spill, a mix of water fowl, turtles, beavers, and muskrats, said Sarah Tegtmeier, oil programs manager at Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research in Newark, Del. The group rescued 170 animals, which it cleaned and are in the process of returning to the lake.
"We did recover a beaver and muskrat, but they didn’t make it," Tegtmeier said. "The water fowl we released in February, and the turtles are being released in early June."
A popular fishing spot, the lake is typically stocked with trout in the spring. With the spill, that did not happen this year and wildlife officials now plan to stock Grenloch in the fall, Ragonese said.
There are no restrictions on eating fish caught in the lake, other than the statewide advisory to limit consumption of recreationally caught fish. Anglers are advised to eat trout no more than once a week..
"We’ll continue testing the water for the immediate future, just to make sure everything’s fine," Ragonese said.
Contact James Osborne at 856-779-3876, email@example.com or on Twitter @osborneja.