News Release

For release: March 16, 2012

Dave Belyea, Manager, Environmental Solutions, Eugene, 541-228-1185
March 19 and after: William Knight, Communications and Outreach, Portland, 503-229-5680

Cascade Petroleum Tanker Spill near Oakridge: Friday, March 16 Update


·         A tanker truck and trailer hauling fuel for Cascade Petroleum Transportation Inc., Portland, crashed while heading eastbound on State Highway 58, about five miles west of Oakridge, near Milepost 31.5, at about 9 a.m. Monday, March 12.

·         Trailer spilled approx. 3,100 gallons of gasoline and 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel into roadside ditch. Truck containing 4,400 gallons of gasoline did not spill any of its contents. Remaining fuel safely pumped out of truck.

·         Driver, hired by Cascade Petroleum and based in Medford, received minor injuries and was cited by Oregon State Police for failure to drive within a lane.

·         Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is leading cleanup efforts along with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Also on-scene are representatives of Oregon Department of Transportation and U.S. Forest Service.

·         24 homes near Oakridge evacuated as safety precaution on Monday 3/12; residents returned to homes later that evening.  


Environmental Impact


·         Approx. 1,000 gallons of fuel recovered and an unknown volume of fuel contained in approx. 775 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil removed from the site and properly disposed of at Coffin Butte Landfill near Corvallis.

·         Minute detections of petroleum compounds in nearby Middle Fork Willamette River; public water systems downstream notified. Levels of compounds decreasing as cleanup continues. DEQ and Oregon Health Authority say public health not in danger.

·         DEQ continuing groundwater investigation and river monitoring at site. Results from samples collected Thursday 3/15 showed less than one part-per-billion benzene where runoff from spill site area enters Middle Fork Willamette. Other river sampling points did not detect contaminants.

·         Initial drinking water well sampling showed no detection of contamination. 

·         Minimal impact to wildlife. USFS and ODFW monitoring and providing updates. A salamander and a small coho salmon in immediate spill area were killed.


Next steps


·         Cleanup expected to continue into next week.

·         Highway 58 will continue to have one lane closed in the immediate spill area.

·         SMAF Environmental, private contractor based in Prineville, will continue to handle cleanup onsite. Cascade Petroleum Transportation Inc. is the responsible party and is paying for all cleanup work.

·         DEQ will provide pertinent updates to community, news media and general public on its website. DEQ, EPA, USFS officials met with about 40 local residents Thursday night 3/15 at USFS Middle Fork Ranger Station, Westfir, to describe cleanup efforts, explain risks and health effects, answer questions and address concerns.

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