Tanker truck causes environmental impact

The Chesterfield County Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded early last Thursday morning, July 24, at approximately 6 a.m. for an overturned tanker truck on Interstate 95 southbound just south of Exit 58. The truck was carrying approximately 7,500 gallons of gasoline and 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel. For several hours, crews worked to clean up the leaked fuel on the interstate. Approximately 7,700 gallons of fuel escaped from the tanker truck and approximately 2,500 gallons were recovered by the clean up crews leaving an estimated 6,000 gallons that was spilled into the storm drains that lead to Swift Creek east of Interstate 95.

Currently, as crews continue clean-up procedures, there are no immediate health concerns for residential drinking water; however, residents in areas bordering Swift Creek east of Interstate 95 should expect to smell an odor of gasoline for several days. There is a possibility that citizens will also see an opaque sheen on the waters of Swift Creek.

During a preliminary assessment, the Department of Environmental Quality found a few dead fish and are asking citizens to contact the Virginia Department of Emergency Management at (804) 674-2400 to report any sightings of dead fish or other wildlife on Swift Creek over the next several days.

Those with chronic respiratory conditions are encouraged to remain inside because they may experience increased respiratory difficulty in the presence of heavy fume odors. If you experience any increased difficulty breathing contact 911 or your primary healthcare provider for medical care.

Many different organizations are involved with this incident including Colonial Heights Fire and EMS, Colonials Heights Emergency Management, Chesterfield Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Chesterfield/Colonials Heights Department of Health, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the State Police.

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