"There were very heavy rains all over the region," Carlton said. "What was breached were the stormwater diversion control devices in place to prevent soil from running off the site."
Those devices did not hold, Carlton said, because the rain was so heavy, came down so quickly and over such a short period of time.
"The water took the path of least resistance down the side of the hill and took some soil with it," Carlton said.
Stream cloudiness and turbidity were the result of the soil entering the water, Carlton said, and water quality officials will be among those helping to investigate the incident. She said a logjam in the stream appears to have stopped the soil from getting any further downstream, as water downstream of the jam was clear.
"That logjam really did a good thing in this case," Carlton said.
The investigation is ongoing, Carlton said, and retesting of soil in the area may be considered. She said the last test results after the fire indicated the contamination levels were low enough to not be considered dangerous.
Impacts on aquaculture will be considered, Carlton said, and the agency will determine whether a water quality violation will be issued to Nornew. She said DEC and Nornew staff were on site all weekend resetting the stormwater control devices.