A Dalton Highway tanker tractor-trailer rollover Saturday injured the driver and released more than 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel, with state officials saying the spill has affected a small stream on state land.
In a Tuesday statement on the wreck, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says the truck operated by NANA Oilfield Services Inc. crashed near Mile 299.4 of the highway, at about 3:20 p.m. Saturday.
“A NOSI tractor-trailer hauling fuel from Fairbanks to the North Slope left the highway and rolled over, damaging the tank trailer,” DEC officials wrote. “The driver was treated and released from Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for injuries sustained in the rollover. The cause of the incident is under investigation.”
Blythe Campbell, a spokesperson for NOSI parent firm NANA Development Corp., says the driver's injuries were relatively minor. The company is conducting a separate internal investigation into the crash.
"Bumps and bruises, primarily, were his main injuries," Campbell said. "We did medevac him -- it's a long trip."
NOSI crews tell DEC that the spill is estimated at 2,561 gallons of fuel -- the amount not recovered from the tanker after the crash.
“Responders pumped 7,149 gallons of fuel from the damaged trailer before removing it from the incident site on June 8,” DEC officials wrote. “The trailer contained 9,710 gallons of fuel at the time of the incident.”
Two companies, Alaska Chadux Corp. and Emerald Alaska Inc., have been contracted to mitigate the spill. Workers have deployed sorbent materials to help absorb the fuel, as well as using Mylar tape, balloons and fencing to mark the spill’s perimeter in an attempt to deter birds and other wildlife from approaching.
The spill has flowed down about 300 yards of tundra to a nearby creek. Workers have deployed booms to block any further flow of oil to the creek, and were installing a temporary dam Tuesday to help mitigate the spill’s effects.
Tom DeRuyter, the state’s on-scene coordinator for the incident with DEC, says the affected creek is relatively minor.
“There’s about 500 yards of impact to that creek,” DeRuyter said. “It’s very, very shallow, just a few inches (deep).”
With equipment to flush the area with water and release further oil en route, and plans under way to excavate and remove any affected soil, DeRuyter says the spill cleanup is still in its initial stages.
“That’s going to continue to change, as we get the manpower and equipment up there to initiate response,” DeRuyter said.
A Feb. 12 crash of an Eggor Enterprises tanker truck in the vicinity, near Mile 309.5 of the Dalton, spilled nearly 2,200 gallons of diesel fuel. The spill eventually spread to more than 14,000 square feet of state land, affecting a nearby buried section of the trans-Alaska pipeline.