Responders Clean Up Diesel Spill at Richardson Highway Tanker Rollover

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Although the secondary tank carrying #11 Ultra-Low Sulfer diesel that rolled over in a ditch at mile 306 of the Richardson Highway on Labor Day has been pumped out and the tanker pulled out and removed from the scene, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation did not reveal the actual amount of diesel spilled in the incident on Tuesday.

According to the trooper report on the incident, at 1:04 pm on Monday, as a 2012 Freightliner pulling double fuel tanks, driven by 63-year-old Edwin Case, suffered an equipment failure when the rear trailer tongue failed and the rear trailer detached and rolled in the southbound ditch. The rear tank, carrying an estimated 5,000-5,500 gallons  of diesel, was punctured in multiple places when it impacted.

State TTroopers and Big State Logistics, along with Salcha Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. They were joined by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Hazmat Team and a representative of the Alaska Department of Transportation Commercial Fehicle Enforcement and cleanup and preventative efforts began. 

ADEC stated in an incident report that “Crews successfully blocked culverts north of the spill site that lead into Birch Lake utilizing tarps and soil.” They report that this measure kept any fuel from entering the lake.

Additional berms were established to prevent further migration of fuel, and crews began removing fuel from the tank while troopers provided traffic control.

By 3:30 pm, flaggers and flagger equipment arrived and took over traffic control from the troopers.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation arrived on the scene as the pumping operation was still underway. Two hours after that, the tanker was succeswsfully uprighted and towed to the highway.

A trailer was utilized to take the damaged tank from the scene.

Two vac trucks were soon on scene to begin removal of the oil and contaminated water. ADEC reports that “A total of 11,020 gallons of oil and water mixture were transported to an above-ground storage tank at Organic Incineration Technology, Inc.”

There were no injuries in the incident, and the remaining fuel tank, with its 9,000 gallons of fuel, was not impacted.