Four months after an underground fuel spilled befouled it, Gloucester County's Grenloch Lake will reopen Saturday to fishing.
The lake, which runs through Camden and Gloucester counties, was shut down for remediation after the . Leaks in underground New Jersey Transit storage tanks allowed 26,000 gallons of fuel to ooze into Grenloch and Blackwood lakes on Jan. 12. The spill amounted to about two in-ground pools worth of polluting fuel, causing visible slicks and raising concerns about the lake wildlife.
The lake reopening follows water samples and fish tissue analysis that didn’t detect spill contaminants, the state Department of Environmental Protection said. The reopening was approved, subject to normal statewide fish consumption advisories.
“We have worked cooperatively with county and local officials on a thorough and closely monitored cleanup of Grenloch Lake to ensure it can be safely enjoyed by area residents,” DEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “We are pleased the work has been completed in time for the unofficial Memorial Day kickoff of the summer season.”
New Jersey Transit and Clean Venture Inc. led the cleanup efforts in the lakes and adjacent wetlands. Authorities said 9,200 gallons of fuel was recovered and 680 tons of contaminated soil excavated.
Ahead of the Saturday reopening, crews are removing booms and the absorbent materials used to clean up the lake. Contractors will replant vegetation in areas where significant soil was removed.
Meanwhile, Tri-State Bird Rescue of Newark, DE, will release turtles rescued from the lake in June and trout stocking is planned for next spring.
Read coverage of the diesel fuel spill at our sister site, Gloucester Township Patch: