Contain Sturgeon fuel spill

BRUTAL CONDITIONS–Crews and agencies continue response to a spill of 4,000 gallons of gasoline and a quantity to diesel fuel from a fatal crash on the U.S. 41 bridge of the Sturgeon River just south of Chassell. Immediate response to the Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 crash and spill has apparently limited impact to the river. Workers have spent over a week excavating and cleaning up, often in single digit temperatures.

by Barry Drue
A well-coordinated and effective multi-agency response has resulted in the containment of 4,000 gallons of gasoline and an undetermined amount of diesel fuel at the Sturgeon River just south of Chassell. The spill is the result of a fatal, multiple-injury accident on the U.S. 41 bridge at the Sturgeon on Saturday morning, Feb. 3, 2018. A vehicle attempting to pass a Klemm Trucking fuel semi tractor trailer hit an oncoming car and pushed it into the path of the semi, which hit it, killing the driver and toppling the tractor trailer, spilling the fuel. Fuel went downhill at the bridge embankment and was absorbed by snow, ice and soil. Some went onto the ice-covered river. It is believed that little if any made it downriver and to Portage Lake. Ralph Dollhopf has been the Environmental Protection Agency’s On-Scene Coordinator for the Emergency Response Team since 1985. He has helped lead EPA’s responses to clean-up of residential methyl parathion sites in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Mississippi, the World Trade Center, Washington DC anthrax attacks, the Columbia Space Shuttle recovery and Hurricane Katrina. He also coordinated EPA’s  response to the July, 2010, Endridge Line 6B discharge into the Kalamazoo River. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.