Cleanup crews Tuesday are digging up and hauling away petroleum contaminated soil following a tanker truck spill Sunday on OR 22 east of Salem and Detroit Lake. The tanker, owned by Space Age Fuel, crashed at about 8 a.m. Sunday near milepost 63, alongside the North Santiam River. About 7,800 gallons of the about 10,600 gallons of fuel in the tanker spilled. Cleanup crews have recovered about 2,800 gallons of the fuel. Booms and absorbent material are in place along the riverbank to catch fuel and remove spilled fuel for disposal. Vacuum tank trucks are on standby at the site to also remove fuel if needed.
A workforce comprised of responders and contractors – as well as the responsible party, the tanker’s owner – is currently working 12-hour shifts to clean up the spill and prevent gasoline and diesel from entering the river: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Space Age Fuel, Oregon Department of Transportation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Other involved and assisting agencies include the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
DEQ, EPA and Space Age Fuel continue to work closely with the Oregon Health Authority and downstream water providers to protect drinking water intakes. The responding agencies are sampling the river at the site and downstream of the crash site, and protecting the water remains a priority.
Excavators so far have dug up about 737 cubic yards of soil for transfer offsite. Trucks are currently hauling the soil to the Short Mountain Landfill in Eugene. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began a shoreline fish and wildlife impact assessment this morning with contractor support and results are expected later Tuesday.
Tuesday’s focus is to remove contaminated soil and minimize further potential fuel from entering the river. The cleanup response Tuesday includes several pieces of heavy equipment, including excavators, bulldozers and about 30 dump trucks equipped with trailers.
A nearly 30-mile stretch of OR 22 remains closed in both directions. The closure stretches from the town of Idanha to the highway’s junction with U.S. 20, east of the crash site. ODOT estimates that the entire portion of OR 22 will remain closed until at least Friday evening so ODOT recommends that traffic between Willamette Valley and Central Oregon use alternate routes.
Dylan Darling, DEQ, 541-687-7997, cell 541-600-6119, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lou Torres, ODOT, 503-559-7118, Louis.C.TORRES@odot.state.or.us (Tuesday)
Angela Beers-Seydel, ODOT,503-505-2069, Angela.BEERS-SEYDEL@odot.state.or.us (Wednesday through the rest of the week)