Rep. Miller: Use microbes to clean up local oil spills

State Rep. Larry Miller, whose district includes part of Shelton, has renewed his call for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to allow for the use of microbes to clear oil spills.

“The use of microbes to clear fuel spills has rapidly become a widely accepted way to clean fuel spills,” said Miller, noting he was prompted to re-iterate his view by reports from a district resident who was required to spend roughly $20,000 to remediate an oil spill on their property.

“It is a natural and clean way to clear a fuel spill and it is also cost-effective,” Miller said. “By allowing their use, the DEEP would be ensuring proper cleanup of fuel spills while providing a far more cost-effective approach for state residents who have to address such fuel spills.”

Using microbes is straightforward

Miller, a Republican in his 12th term, explained that the microbe system of remediating fuel spills is fairly straightforward. Microbes are spread over the fuel spill area, and water is applied to activate them. Once saturated with water, they are agitated with a brush.

Small spills can be consumed by the microbes in less than half an hour, according to Miller. No formal training is required to apply the microbe solution, and it is effective in water as well as on soil, he said.

Will re-introduce bill to allow microbes

Miller has introduced legislation several times to allow for the introduction of microbes as an ecologically conscious, clean and effective method of combating oil spills, and indicated that he intends to do so again in the future.

He also said he supports creating a remediation fund for residential spills similar to the one now in place for gas stations.

‘A win for everyone’

“When you have the added benefit of being able to adequately remove a fuel spill in a safe and effective way that costs a great deal less than other DEEP-approved methods, it’s a win for everybody,” Miller said. “There is no hazardous residue as the microbes consume each other after the fuel is gone.”

He called it “a solution that makes sense, and I once again encourage DEEP to consider allowing these products to be used by state residents.”

Miller represents the 122nd District, which includes parts of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull. He was first elected in 1990.