“While the goal is to move as thoroughly and as quickly as we can, this will be a large operation in a very dangerous area along I-80,” said Hector Orozco, incident commander for the DFG. “We need to have all of the equipment and people available and ready to go so we can do this right and safely.”
Some soil has been removed from the original site along Interstate 80 where a truck trailer overturned spilling about 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel in late May. Cleanup crews could access part of the area along the south shoulder where space allowed, but within the center divide where more contaminated soil was identified, space gets limited and traffic moves quickly, making removal a more hazardous operation for the crew.
Though the majority of the spilled fuel was deposited in the center divide, some material moved down the median and through a culvert to the hillside above Donner Lake. Teams will further assess the extent of the contamination in these areas to determine the need for additional cleanup measures.
Contingency plans for the next few days include diligent monitoring of the containment booms and covering of any soil that has been excavated to ensure it does not leech. Staff will be deployed if any changes occur due to weather.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust to any changes,” said Carol Oz, DFG environmental scientist. “We have rain contingency plans in place to ensure protection of the public and environment, and additional teams on standby ready to respond.”
Environmental monitoring of the area continues for water quality and wildlife impacts. Recent tests from Summit Creek and Donner Lake showed no diesel detected. Scientists will develop restoration plans for the area following the soil removal.
For more information, visit https://calspillwatch.dfg.ca.gov.