It’s time to wake up and smell the…fuel? That’s what individuals in two areas are dealing with after Monday’s diesel fuel spills entered nearby rivers.
Yesterday, firefighters arrived on the scene in Oceanside, CA after 50 to 100 gallons of fuel leaking from a semi tractor-trailer went unnoticed for several hours.
The driver, who worked for AC Transportation, notified the Riverside company around midnight that their truck had broken down outside the San Luis Rey Wastewater Treatment Plant and was leaking fuel, however, did not alert Oceanside officials, an article on SignOnSanDiego.com notes.
As the driver slept in the truck, the fuel continued to spread, and once a passerby notified the fire department seven hours later that the truck’s diesel was leaking into the gutter, the fuel had already traveled a half of a mile, entering into the San Luis Rey River and Pilgrim Creek, the site notes.
Under closer investigation it was discovered that “the fuel lines on the truck had been torn from both fuel tanks” and the driver and company have been cited for “illegal discharge of a hazardous material” as well as “an unspecified driving violation” (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/mar/29/fuel-from-disabled-truck-gets-in-san-luis-rey-rive/).
Whether or not the spill has caused damage to environmental life has yet to be determined but the spill has been contained.
An even larger spill occurred Monday in Columbia Falls, ME, resulting in 1,000 gallons of fuel being released from a tanker truck.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) arrived on the scene Tuesday after the diesel had already leaked all night, reaching the Pleasant and Middle Rivers, Bangor Daily News notes.
Foss Construction Co., who is responsible for the truck, will be charged with cleanup costs, which include removal of 28 yards of contaminated soil, ranging from $15,000 to $20,000 (http://new.bangordailynews.com/2011/03/29/news/100-gallon-fuel-spill-contaminates-pleasant-river-and-salmon-hatchery/).
The DEP explains that without rain to dissipate the fuel, it could take weeks before it is cleaned up, but what the department is really concerned about is whether they were able to stop the fuel from reaching the Pleasant River Hatchery in time, where millions of smelt eggs are contained and 135,000 salmon eggs were to be released, the site notes.
Not only could the spill harm environmental life, but fishermen as well, who depend on the fish for commercial use.
Could these instances been prevented? The answer is yes.
AC Transportation or its driver should have notified Oceanside of the leakage before the fuel spread as far as it did and with daily maintenance, Foss Construction Co. would have noticed the fuel lines on the truck being torn sooner.
Road Scholar Transport is a reliable carrier, conducting daily maintenance inspections as well as pre-trip and post-trip inspections while operating newer equipment to prevent our trucks from breaking down while delivering your freight. We have never been cited for a piece of faulty equipment in an accident due to our daily procedures.
Do you believe these spills could have been prevented, and if so, what should be the penalty?