A Baldwin Jiffy Lube and its store manager were issued eight tickets for dumping oil that seeped into lakes connected to the Great South Bay, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said.
The DEC found three storm drains near the Merrick Road store “filled with oil” after investigating an oil spill at Caroline Lake on Sunday and Monday, officials said.
By Wednesday, a contractor hired by the DEC had removed 3,350 gallons of oil and water from the drains, recovered 10 to 15 gallons of oil from Silver Lake and three cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris, as well as a 55-gallon drum of spent oil-absorbent pads, officials said.
The state spill response team was "overseeing containment and cleanup of the spill to protect public health and the environment," DEC spokeswoman Erica Ringewald said in a statement Wednesday.
A Jiffy Lube representative blamed water buildup in the service center bay.
"Snow melt and rain caused water buildup in our service center bay," Rob Calderin, chief marketing officer for Team Car Care LLC, which does business as Jiffy Lube, said in a statement. "While the cause of the sheen on Silver Pond Lake is under evaluation, we will cooperate fully with the DEC and its contractor."
The first reports of an oil spill at Caroline Lake came in to the DEC on Sunday evening. Investigators returned Monday morning, and saw that oil had spread south to Silver Lake and to a canal that leads to the Great South Bay.
The DEC hired a company to bring in a vacuum truck and pick up debris and plant material. The contractor placed booms to control the spread.
The DEC responded to reports that a Jiffy Lube had been cleaning out the interior of the store for about a week. DEC spill responders went to the location and noticed a “sheen” on the driveway leading to a storm drain. It investigated the storm drain and two others near Merrick Road and Parkview Place. The contractor, AB Oil, removed the oil and sediment from the storm drains.
Boom and absorbent material were placed in the storm drain to deal with any remaining material.
DEC officials said the investigation is continuing. Four tickets each were issued to Jiffy Lube and the store’s manager for: polluting the waters of the marine district; polluting waters in contravention of standards; depositing a noxious or unwholesome substance on a highway; and depositing a noxious, offensive or toxic substance into a stream, sewer or public waterway.
Auto repair facilities can reuse motor oil in approved heating units, or have it picked up for recycling at used oil processing facilities permitted by the DEC, officials said.