Diesel spill cleanup follows truck mishap on Highway 14

By Tom Vogt, Columbian Science, Military & History Reporter



After this truck slid off eastbound Highway 14 near Southeast 164th Avenue, it began leaking fuel. The Department of Ecology was called to handle the spill.

Up to 60 gallons of spilled diesel fuel reached a small creek Thursday morning after an errant tractor-trailor veered off state Highway 14.

There were no injuries, said Vancouver Fire Captain David James. But one of the fuel tanks was leaking diesel after the eastbound truck landed atop a culvert, near Milepost 7, at about 10:45 a.m.

Some of the spilled fuel reached a small creek that feeds into the nearby Columbia River.

The Vancouver Fire Department and hazardous-materials teams responded rapidly and deployed absorbent materials that helped control the spill, said Jim Sachet, state Department of Ecology regional spill response manager.

The spill is being cleaned up by Cowlitz Clean Sweep, a private contractor hired by the truck owner, Ultimate Transport of Garden City, Idaho. The Department of Ecology is directing cleanup efforts.

Response activities mainly involved the use of absorbent pads, booms and other equipment to soak up oil on the water.

“Any oil spill that enters water is a concern and may harm fish, birds or mammals,” Sachet said in a news release. “This creek is reportedly habitat for fall chum salmon, ducks and other wildlife.”

Other agencies responding included the Washington Department of Transportation, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Washington State Patrol

By noon, the fuel remaining in the tanks had been drained. The truck was towed from the accident scene, near the Southeast 164th Street exit.