Saturday, September 10, 2016

4,000 gallons of fuel spilled into state park soil after a Peterbilt tanker truck pulling a trailer overturned alongside U.S. Highway 101 near Salmon Creek Bridge.

DHHS: No Evidence That Wednesday's 4,000-Gallon Gasoline Spill has Leaked Into the Eel River

Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services press release:

An estimated 4,000 gallons of gasoline from a petroleum tanker that overturned Wednesday in Southern Humboldt has leaked above the South Fork of the Eel River.

The incident occurred just south of the Salmon Creek exit from northbound U.S. Highway 101.

There is currently no evidence that fuel has entered the water. Assessment of the area continues today, with cleanup efforts expected to begin Tuesday.

The fuel truck overturned with an estimated 7,000 gallons on board. Some of the fuel was recovered in what’s called a “hot stinger operation,” which involves drilling the top of the overturned tank and inserting a pipe to remove the fuel. Recovery efforts, however, were complicated by the position of the truck and its location on the hill.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is the lead agency for the spill and the recovery. Staff from the Division of Environmental Health (DEH) remain on site and continue to monitor these efforts.

“We don’t believe at this time that the spill presents a threat to public health,” said Susan Buckley, director of the Public Health Branch of the Department of Health & Human Services. “But in keeping with Proposition 65 notification requirements and out of an abundance of caution, we’re making this announcement over the weekend to make sure area residents are informed.” ======
Large Fuel Spill in State Park Amid Crash Cleanup Effort
Posted By Thadeus Greenson @ThadeusGreenson on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 8:24 AM
Caltrans reported the overturned truck's tanks were intact with minimal leaking observed on Thursday.  Approximately 4,000 gallons of fuel spilled into state park soil as crews tried to clear the wreckage of a tanker truck that overturned alongside U.S. Highway 101 near Salmon Creek Bridge.

Information is sparse at this point, but State Parks sent out the below press release last night stating that cleanup efforts are underway and noting that about 4,000 gallons of the tanker's 7,000-gallon load "was released." The crash occurred Wednesday night near Miranda and its cause remains under investigation.

According to Caltrans, the plan had been to transfer the 7,000 gallons of gasoline to another truck before using a hoist to pull the tanker back onto the roadway. The truck's tanks stayed intact in the crash, with minimal observed leakage, according to Caltrans.

We'll update this post with additional information as we get it.

Humboldt County, Calif — Recovery and clean-up efforts of an overturned semi-truck carrying up to 7,000 gallons of fuel continued today near north bound US-101 out hot Salmon Creek Road in Humboldt County. The Peterbilt tank truck and trailer that collided with a guard rail and overturned on state park property on September 7 has been removed. Approximately 4,000 gallons of fuel was released.

Planning efforts to remove contaminated soil are underway and environmental monitoring will be ongoing throughout the entire clean-up process The park is open to the public. Park hours and services have not been impacted.

It is anticipated that traffic will be restored to normal conditions this evening, though traffic may be restricted in the near future to aid in clean-up efforts.

The collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. For further information, please contact Superintendent Tom Gunther (707) 946-1812. 


Tanker Truck Carrying 7,000 Gallons of Gasoline Rolls on Highway 101 in SoHum; Traffic Reduced to One Lane

California Highway Patrol press release:

On 09/07/2016 at 1630 hours, a 2013 Peterbilt tank truck pulling a tank trailer, driven by C. Allan Veach of Ukiah, CA, was traveling northbound on US-101 south of Salmon Creek Road in the number two lane. The Peterbilt and trailer was transporting approximately 7,000 gallons of gasoline. For reasons still under investigation, Veach turned to the right and collided with the guardrail east of the roadway. The Peterbilt and trailer continued over the guardrail and overturned as it traveled down an embankment. The Peterbilt came to rest on its roof while the trailer came to rest on its left side approximately 150 feet east of US-101. During the investigation, officers did not observe a serious or noticeable breach of either of the tanks containing the gasoline. Due to its position of rest and the volatile contents of the tanks, the Peterbilt and tank trailer were unable to be promptly recovered. The recovery and clean-up efforts have been scheduled for the morning of 09/08/2016 and it is anticipated that traffic on US-101 will be restricted to one lane in each direction for an unknown duration.

A unified incident command was established on scene and was comprised of the following agencies; California State Parks, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Cal Trans, Cal Fire, Humboldt County Department of Environmental Health, and the California Highway Patrol.

State Parks officers remained on scene with Cal Fire throughout the night and monitored the Peterbilt and tank trailer.

This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. Alcohol/drug impairment does not appear to be a factor in the cause of this collision.  Perhaps the driver fell asleep and veered to the right.  That's all it takes for these tanker truck trailer trucks to overturn.  They can withstand a g force of less than 0.2 g.