Environment
4:36 pm
Thu February 24, 2011

Clean up continues after fuel tanker spill on Olympic Peninsula

An estimated 4,300 gallons of fuel spilled Wednesday when a tanker truck overturned on U.S. Highway 101 about 25 miles south of Forks. Work continues at the site today to contain the spill as quickly as possible.

Kim Schmanke of the state's Department of Ecology says crews righted the damaged trailer late Wednesday afternoon. The State Patrol says the truck driver wasn't injured in crash yesterday morning. 

Schmanke says response agencies and cleanup contractors are working to recover the spilled fuel and assess environmental impacts.

In a statement released by Ecology late this afternoon, the agency says the spill's impact is being closely watched:

Ecology responders say the diesel made it into a wetland by traveling from the accident scene in a drainage ditch, through a culvert under the highway and into an unnamed creek. Information provided from on scene today indicates that the wetland drains into Chalaat Creek.

Tom Callis of Peninsula Daily News reports the tanker owner, Pettit, is working with mop up crews:

Cowlitz Clean Sweep, hired by Pettit, and responders from Ecology and Hoh and Quileute tribes used booms and adsorbent pads to contain the spill. 

The crash closed one lane of the highway. 

Enivronmental Protection Agency workers are now on the scene and are working with the Hoh Tribe and other contractors to perform soil excavation at the site. Schmanke tells KPLU News this afternoon that excavation work may take up to three more days.