120 gallons of diesel spilled on I-80 | SierraSun.com
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120 gallons of diesel spilled on I-80

DARIN OLDE, Sierra Sun

On Thursday, Aug. 24, a big rig going eastbound from Donner Summit on Interstate 80 overturned and spilled approximately 120 gallons of diesel fuel near Donner Lake.

“The driver’s brakes failed,” California Highway Patrol Officer John Sattler said. “He was gaining speed and momentum, and tried steering the vehicle along the center divider to try and slow it down with the dirt and trees… He rode up the embankment and turned it over.”

The driver and passenger had minor injuries but were released from Tahoe Forest Hospital later that evening.

Officials reported that approximately 20 cubic yards of soil was saturated with fuel and will have to be removed.

“Crews are cleaning up fuel that is in the storm drain,” Sattler said. “They diked all the drains so it wouldn’t leak into the lake. Now they have to bring in some specialty equipment to suck it out of there. But nothing got near the lake.”

Nevada County Department of Environmental Health will inspect the clean-up efforts. In addition, they are required to prove that the site has been cleaned properly and that there is no danger to the environment or nearby residents.

“Dean Levonian from the California Department of Forestry responded Thursday night and described a controlled situation,” said Kathy Polucha from Environmental Health.

“If the spill is confined in an area Caltrans will begin the clean-up and call to let us know what happened. It was not described as a large emergency.”


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