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Oil leak closes ‘Cottage’

Students and faculty had to go without smoothies and bagels for almost a week, due to a massive oil leak at the Coffee Cottage that shut down the establishment. Employees of the Coffee Cottage and the Castleton Physical Plant are unsure of when the leak began, but it was discovered early on April 28th in the basement of the Moriarty House.

When the Coffee Cottage opened that Monday, several people complained of a foul smell, and maintenance was called in to inspect the basement. Larry Caruso, a mechanical assistant for the physical plant, was the first to see the damage.

According to Caruso the heating oil tank had lost “a significant quantity” of its payload, leaking an estimated 220 gallons of oil onto the basement floor.

The spill was absorbed heavily into the foundation and ground around the basement, which will require a series of carbon filter tubes to dissipate, according to the workers at Physical Plant and agents from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation who were called in to assess long-term damage.

The DEC and school say that while it will take time to remove the oil that seeped into the ground and foundation, there is no immediate danger.

Physical plant theorizes that the leak was caused due to a gasket on the tank’s delivery nozzle damaged from heat expansion. The tank itself is undamaged and there is no danger present.

The basement has been cleared of all spilled oil and the Coffee Cottage is reopened for business.