Notice of Environmental Incident

Posted: January 20, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Dear Patriots,

We want to bring your attention to an incident that happened about 2:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus. During a routine maintenance operation at Mason’s Central Heating and Cooling Plant, about 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel overflowed from holding tanks near Patriot Circle and Rivanna Lane.

The fuel oil overflow was contained on campus. This fuel oil is used to heat water at the central plant. The water then circulates throughout campus to heat buildings. There are two fuel tanks that supply fuel to the plant. One tank overfilled while fuel was being transferred from one tank to the other. We are investigating what led to the overflow.

Mason takes its role as a steward of the environment very seriously. An environmental contractor currently is removing the oil. It is unclear how long this process could take. It appears no people or wildlife were affected and we want to make sure that remains the case. Mason will work with the Department of Environmental Quality to assess if any additional measures are needed.

Sincerely,

Thomas Calhoun
Vice President of Facilities

Julie Zobel
Assistant Vice President, Environmental Health and Safety