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Published: August 15, 2008 03:55 am ShareThisPrintThis
City receives equipment to aid in oil spills
By Katie Farrell
Staff writer

NEWBURYPORT - Along with other coastal communities, Newburyport will receive new equipment from the state to aid in the event of an oil spill in the Merrimack River.
Fire Chief Steve Cutter said yesterday Newburyport was selected under a program sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection to receive a 20-foot-long trailer filled with spill containment equipment.
The trailer will likely arrive in the next two weeks, Cutter said. It will be housed at fire headquarters, and all firefighters will be trained on how to use it.
The equipment provided by the state will be replenished by DEP if Newburyport has to use it. The trailer includes 1,000 feet of containment booms, as well as anchors, buoys, spill pads, towing bridles and portable lights.
There is also a 2,000-watt generator with air compressors as well as bales and bags of petroleum product absorbents.
"If we were to ever have a spill in the river, we would have the equipment to slow it down," Cutter said.
Other communities receiving a trailer are: Newbury, Rowley, Essex, Ipswich, Rockport, Beverly, Salem, Marblehead and Manchester-by-the-Sea.
Newburyport was selected under the Marine Oil Spill Response Trailer grant program. The grant is part of the state's implementation of the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 2004.
The money to purchase and distribute the trailers and train emergency responders on the equipment is provided from the trust fund created to support the program.
According to the state, the fund was set up to receive 2 cents for every barrel of petroleum shipped into Massachusetts since September 2004. It is used to improve and enhance marine oil spill response and prevention, provide emergency loans and pay damage claims.
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