Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases from Region 8

 

EPA, BLM provide guidance to recreationists for ongoing fuel sheen from West Creek Tanker Spill

Release Date: 03/14/2013
Contact Information: EPA: Craig Myers, 303-312-7067, myers.craig@epa.gov BLM: David Boyd, 970-876-9008, dboyd@blm.gov

EPA, BLM provide guidance to recreationists for ongoing fuel sheen from West Creek Tanker Spill

Agencies say to expect ongoing visible sheen through spring and summer when walking through West Creek

Contacts:
EPA: Craig Myers, 303-312-7067, myers.craig@epa.gov
BLM: David Boyd, 970-876-9008, dboyd@blm.gov

(Denver, Colo. – March 14, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management today released guidance for fishermen and outdoor recreationists regarding visible sheen related to the West Creek Tanker Spill. This guidance relates to the section of West Creek along CO 141 from milepost 120 through milepost 127.

“The bulk of the cleanup has been completed,” said Craig Myers, EPA On Scene Coordinator. “However there is a high likelihood that fishermen or recreationists wading through the stream this spring and summer will notice that they are kicking up petroleum sheen from the sediments. This is expected given the nature of the spill.”

Those wading through the sheen should utilize the following guidelines when observing and/ or reporting visible petroleum sheen in West Creek:

      Sheen is only expected to be seen along CO 141 from milepost 120 through milepost 127.
      Individuals who wade through the creek and see petroleum sheen should notice it dissipating within 10 feet or less.
      The sheen should stop releasing within 3 minutes after sediment disturbance has stopped.
      If individuals find a location where sheen is released beyond these conditions, they should call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 or file a report online at nrc.uscg.mil and note that the report is related to the West Creek Tanker spill.

Possible impacts to habitat and wildlife will continue to be assessed and will determine if any further steps are necessary to return the site to its original condition. Although fish in the creek were impacted during the initial spill and dead fish were observed during the response effort, the creek has been cleaned and is currently open for public use and recreation activities. The creek and surrounding area will continue to be monitored to confirm that there are not any ongoing impacts to wildlife.

Background:

On January 25, 2013, at approximately 6 a.m. a tanker truck hauling 6,000 gallons of gasoline and 2,000 gallons of diesel went off Highway 141, flipped over the guardrail, and went down a steep embankment into West Creek, approximately 20 feet below the highway. Both tanks on the tanker were breached and a fire ensued. The Grand Junction Fire Department responded to the accident and fire. Initial reports from the fire department indicate a three-quarter mile fire line down the creek. The fire department deployed sorbent boom approximately 1 mile downstream and later established another sorbent boom location approximately 2 miles downstream. The product in the tanker was allowed to burn. The site is located approximately 30 miles southwest of Grand Junction, Colorado.

For more information on this site please visit: www.epaosc.org/westcreektanker