Recovery of the gasoline and diesel fuel spilled from a truck accident last week at Mile 52 of the Sterling Highway has been slow going and is expected to continue for a few more days at the least, said John Brown of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
A fuel tanker owned by Fisher Fuels Inc. and carrying 7,000 gallons of gasoline and 1,800 gallons of diesel fuel overturned in a pond west of Gwin's Lodge in Cooper Landing shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. The highway was closed for approximately 9 1/2 hours while crews cleaned up the spill and recovered the tractor trailer, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Approximately 4,750 gallons of product spilled into the pond. As of 3 p.m. Thursday, an estimated total of 839 gallons of fuel and 24,808 gallons of water have been recovered from the pond using vacuum trucks.
Five vacuum trucks and two 21,000-gallon portable tankers are being used to recover, temporarily store and transport fuel and tainted water from the site to Energy Recovery in Anchorage for disposal. Sorbent materials also are being used in the pond to recover fuel.
As for environmental affects to the pond and spill area, it is hard to say what damage has been done, Brown said. The long-term cleanup plan will assess damages and deal with those issues once the initial spill is cleaned up.
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