In this incident on 2018-05-05, we responded to a dispatch from Washington State Police 911 dispatch about a semi-truck and trailer involved in an accident at WB SR18 J/E of Hobart Issaquah Road. Our Pro-Tow division arrived quickly at the scene with two heavy-duty wreckers as required by Washington state law for towing a semi-truck and trailer.
The semi-truck had been involved in a rear-end collision and was leaking vehicle fuel oil from its tank. Our Team Pro-Enviro dispatched an emergency motor vehicle spill response to help handle the containment and fuel spill cleanup. We arrived at the scene and reported to the incident command post, which involved the Washington State Police, Fire Department and Department of Transportation.
Implementing Emergency Fuel Spill Cleanup
Motor vehicle fuel was steadily streaming out of the tank, so our team quickly deployed an emergency 75-gallon containment berm to reduce the impact of the leak. With the stream contained, we were able to inspect the tank for any damages and find the leak. It was decided that emptying the tank was the safest and quickest way to lessen the amount of fuel going on the roads and contaminating the soil.
We performed an emergency frame fork tow truck hookup to the frame of the truck so our team could safely lift and secure it for towing. We drained all remaining fuel oil from the damaged tank. The Department of Ecology spill responder arrived at the scene to help with the scene assessment for a safe road and soil cleanup.
Mitigating Environmental Road and Soil Damage
As always, safety for the environment and limiting as much soil contamination as possible is one of our top priorities during a spill recovery. Our scene assessment showed that an excess of 50 gallons and possibly near 100 gallons, based on soil containment, had leaked across the roads.
We immediately began emergency deployment of pads, granules, pillows and logs to try and absorb the fuels that were streaming downhill. This time, the weather was also working against us, as continuous rainfall made it difficult to contain the stream. There was also the concern of the contamination running into an adjacent wetland, which our team worked to avoid.
Our team didn’t slow down while continuing to work quickly, deploying absorbents and employing containment techniques. The total impacted area of the spill recovery area was 710 feet. To handle this, additional equipment and personnel were called in to meet the demand of such a spill recovery. After we repeated the process of ongoing excavation, soil replacements and grading, we were able to safely contain and complete the fuel spill cleanup.