Lt. John Wilcox Talks about the Hacker Creek Spill

Ridge between Salmon Creek Watershed and Briceland Area

We have been in contact with the property owner. I cannot give you the name. At this time there are no plans for a physical arrest but a case will probably be submitted for both [marijuana and environmental crimes].”

Lieutenant John Wilcox of the California Dept of Fish and Game was among the first responders to the Hacker Creek diesel spill.

He explains the layout of the scene. “There are two tanks—a larger 1,000 gallon one which was used to fill a smaller 500 gallon one.” Whether carelessly or through mechanical malfunction, the larger tank’s fuel drained completely into the smaller tank. Of course, this overflowed the smaller tank. “We don’t know how much fuel was in either tank when the problem occurred.” The lieutenant emphasized, “There is a lot of fuel on the ground.”

The spill occurred on a rocky hillside–full of what Wilcox calls, “Fractured shale.” Anything liquid is quickly drained into the cracks and disappears. “[The contractor] is excavating as we speak.” Unfortunately, diesel can continue to ooze out for a long time afterwards. The workers will eventually “try and flush it but gravity is the best mover [of the fuel.].”

In Hacker Creek itself, the diesel has apparently been stopped at 300 yards from the spill. There are oil booms etc. up to contain it. According to the Lieutenant, it is unlikely that fish were harmed because “natural obstructions probably keep fish from accessing the area.” However, the creek is a wonderful habitat for frogs and salamanders. “The spill could have harmed them. At this point, we have only found dead insects though.”

Lieutenant John Wilcox appreciates the access the community has provided and wants to let everyone know that there will continue to be a great deal of vehicles. “We will stay until we get it as close to pre-spill conditions as possible.”

Link to post about Contractor on the site.

Link to first post about the spill with map and more info

Link to Sheriff Tom Allman’s Interview about damage from marijuana grows. Part1 and Part 2

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8 comments

  • Great stuff, Kym. Thanks.

  • Thank you.

    BTW, I heard the landowner turned himself in. You heard anything?

  • If that is correct, about the landowner turning himself in, that is a good thing. Responsible, instead of hiding out.

  • In Hacker Creek itself, the diesel has apparently been stopped at 300 yards from the spill. There are oil booms etc. up to contain it.

    Do you really think they are containing all of it? Look further downstream in the shallow pools for rainbow oil-slicks on the surface of the water. It’s real subtle, you have to stare for a long time and then you see it. It wont be over the whole surface of the puddle but in little islands. That’s what I saw in Blue Slide Creek, the oil was accumulating in the slow moving water and in pools on the side of the creek miles downstream from the spill. They were using booms and pads etc. but it was still visible there on the surface of the water many months after they started the clean up.

  • thanks for the update . . . it really burns me to see growers harming the environment . . .

  • If people were not buying their product, and willing to pay as much as $5K/lb for it, the exploitive, mass growers would not be running their diesel generators and polluting our air, water, and soil. And it is OUR ENVIRONMENT, not theirs to pollute for profit, by the way. In this sense, our neighbors are not so different from corporations like McDonalds, Exxon-Mobil, et al. So the next time you are about to spark up a fattie, think about the downstream effects of your choice as to how you spend your recreational dollars. There are, of course, environmentally sound ways of growing any plant, so bravo to those who use the power of the sun to grow, don’t divert creeks needed for fish habitat, don’t overfertilize, and don’t dump their waste on the rest of us to deal with. From my experience with the “industry”, the latter type of grower is the minority and the consumer is supporting a destructive and unsustainable practice. Thanks be to our brothers and sisters that know better and do better.

  • the best way to end the destruction of our planet for commercial production is to grow our own . . . much as the best tomatoes also come from our own gardens!

  • Pingback: Hacker Creek Owner Fined $215,000 « REDHEADED BLACKBELT and Other Strange Connections

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