NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The quick-thinking and action of the Iona College Facilities Management staff helped turn a potential significant incident into a manageable one when fuel oil was released on to the driveway behind the College’s Rice Hall on December 16, 2016. Director Richard Murray and his team were recognized Monday, January 9, by Sprague Energy’s Director of Bronx Operations Tom Carey and Delivery Integrity Program Manager Alex Montoya at a breakfast in Spellman Hall.
"On behalf of Sprague operating resources, I'd like to thank Rich Murray and the entire crew at Iona College for their hard work and professional attitude during this incident," said Carey. "In this industry, I've seen a number of oil spills, but the thought, reaction and action of Iona facilities was remarkable in preventing the situation from becoming more significant than it was."
"Our success in managing this crisis could not have been achieved without the hard work of every one on the Facilities Management team," noted Murray, in speaking to his staff. "I am proud to be a part of this group and proud of its ability to rise to the occasion.”
"Our grounds and facilities crew are a tremendous asset to Iona College," said Iona President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., "Time and again they go the extra step to make sure Iona’s campus is, functional, beautiful and safe, though their actions in this incident were extraordinary."
On the chilly Friday morning, a truck delivering oil to Rice Hall on Iona's campus began leaking oil on the driveway and towards Pryer Terrace. Iona's facilities team was the first responder to the incident. The driveway quickly became too slick for the truck to move and it was recognized the leak could not be stopped. Iona's facilities team quickly used its backhoe to dig a containment pond in an attempt to block the spill from entering New Rochelle's storm drain system. The New Rochelle fire and police departments, members of Sprague's team and other agencies also responded to assist. The contracted hauling company, Northeast Environmental, arrived and transferred oil from the damaged truck and the containment pond into a new truck. The company also began the process of removing the contaminated soil.