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Pettit Oil Tanker Truck spills fuel on Highway 8 near McCleary, WA


Personnel from the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are leading cleanup efforts at the scene of a fiery tanker truck accident that happened early Saturday morning near the Thurston-Grays Harbor County line on Highway 8.

A Pettit Oil tanker truck, carrying two partitioned tanks of diesel and gasoline, lost control while headed westbound, near milepost 10, at 05:50 a.m. on Saturday. The resulting rollover caused one tank to rupture spilling approximately 7,000 gallons of gasoline and 3,300 gallons of diesel.

The spilled fuel caught on fire and burned the truck and one tank. The spilled fuel on the north side of the highway and the median caught on fire and passed through the south facing culvert under the eastbound lanes, burning the wetlands and entering Mox-Chehalis Creek.

The accident released approximately 10,300 gallons of product (7,000 gasoline, and 3,300 diesel fuel). An unknown amount of the product was consumed in the fire and responders from Ecology and EPA still don’t know how much was released to the ground.

Ecology, EPA and Pettit Oil each responded quickly to the accident and environmental contractors were hired to address the release of diesel and gasoline to this sensitive wetlands area.

Cleanup activities have included booming the creek, product recovery in the creek, the construction of “interceptor” trenches to divert and collect additional product from reaching the creek, contaminated soil removal and sampling of a nearby drinking water well.

According to Kathy Parker, EPA’s On-Scene-Coordinator (OSC), the release of fuel did enter the Mox-Chehalis Creek. Booms and absorbent pads were applied to stop the flow of product downstream.

“So far there has been no detection of the fuel in the area’s drinking water,” said Parker. “Sampling has commenced and a monitoring plan is being developed.”

Other agencies were notified and have been providing assistance: U.S. Department of Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

For additional information on the cleanup site, visit:


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