2013 Dalton Highway fuel spill clean-up concludes

The state is closing the book on a Dalton Highway fuel spill that occurred four years ago. State Department of Environmental Conservation on scene coordinator Tom DeRuyter said clean-up and remediation was fairly extensive after an Alaska Petroleum Distributing tanker truck trailer rolled in May 2013, spilling 3,000 gallons of diesel along the highway near milepost 81. DeRuyter said the effort addressed soil contaminated around a ditch dug to collect the fuel, as well as treatment of nearby forest.

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“It was deep into the moss that was in that area,” DeRuyter said. “And they had to put in some collection trenches.”

DeRuyter said soil frost limited deep contamination, noting that a sheen did form on a small nearby pond, which had to be skimmed. He said the clean-up and remediation occurred over about two months following the spill, but follow up sampling dragged out, due a problem with the trucking company’s insurance provider.

“Using another state consultant that was not familiar with Alaska or our regulations and we went through most of a field season without getting the samples that we really wanted,” DeRuyter said. “But we got the site re-characterized this past year and are heading toward closure with it.”

Results of sampling conducted in August will be evaluated by the DEC by year’s end to make a final determination on closure of the project.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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