At 7:24pm on Thursday, April 25, 2019, the Hanover Emergency Communications Center received a 911 phone call reporting an unknown type spill in the Indian Head River on Broadway at the Hanover/Hanson Town Line. Hanover Engine 7 responded to investigate as well as a unit from the Hanson Fire Department. Upon arrival, a large amount of an unknown fluid with a visible sheen was flowing down the River from the area of Factory Pond in Hanson. Additional Hanover Fire units were dispatched along with a request for an emergency response from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)..
Initial efforts focused on identifying the source and type of the spill while simultaneously deploying booms to contain it. A combined search of properties in the area by Hanover and Hanson Firefighters discovered heating oil leaking from tanks inside the basement of Country Ski and Sport, Inc., located on the southern bank of the Indian Head River. Crews, with the assistance of an oil heat repair company, were able to mitigate the leak and prevent further flow. Hanover Firefighters deployed an initial containment boom on the River at the Hanover/Hanson Town Line.
A determination was made by DEP that just over 100 gallons of fuel leaked from the tanks and had flowed past the initial containment area. Fire crews moved downstream 1.3 miles to the State Street Bridge where they discovered that the oil had already traveled beyond that point. A joint decision by public safety officials and the MA Department of Environmental Protection was made to deploy secondary containment booms at Luddam's Ford, 2 ¾ miles downstream from the site of the spill.
Additional mutual aid was requested from the Pembroke and Marshfield Fire Departments. Marshfield responded with a DEP Spill Control Trailer and Pembroke provided a boat. Two hundred feet of containment boom was deployed across the river at Luddam's Ford preventing the spill from reaching the North River.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will oversee further clean-up and mitigation efforts.
Remaining fire service resources cleared the incident at 11:32pm.