4,000 Gallon Fuel Spill Near Eel River

Tanker prepares for a hot stinger operation. [Photo from Brian Anderson of the CHP]

Tanker prepares for a hot stinger operation. [Photo from Brian Anderson of the CHP]

Press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services:

An estimated 4,000 gallons of gasoline from a petroleum tanker that overturned Wednesday in Southern Humboldt has leaked above the South Fork of the Eel River.

The incident occurred just south of the Salmon Creek exit from northbound U.S. Highway 101.

There is currently no evidence that fuel has entered the water. Assessment of the area continues today, with cleanup efforts expected to begin Tuesday.

The fuel truck overturned with an estimated 7,000 gallons on board. Some of the fuel was recovered in what’s called a “hot stinger operation,” which involves drilling the top of the overturned tank and inserting a pipe to remove the fuel. Recovery efforts, however, were complicated by the position of the truck and its location on the hill.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is the lead agency for the spill and the recovery. Staff from the Division of Environmental Health (DEH) remain on site and continue to monitor these efforts.


Overturned tanker truck. [Photo from Brian Anderson of the CHP]

“We don’t believe at this time that the spill presents a threat to public health,” said Susan Buckley, director of the Public Health Branch of the Department of Health & Human Services. “But in keeping with Proposition 65 notification requirements and out of an abundance of caution, we’re making this announcement over the weekend to make sure area residents are informed.”

  • Laytonville Rock


  • Can you imagine the fine if a regular person spilled 4000 gallons of gas within a mile of the river! and the backlash from the neighborhood, if it was a grower they would probably be hung!

    • Henchman Of Justice

      And the environmental groups too, but they are all mummifyingly mummish for their cohorts working at DHHS for brownie points at a later date over a yet to be publicized project protest……..

      Imagine how deep gasoline seeps into a sponge of dirt…..

      Is there now a development project to dig out the contaminated dirt?

      Negative Declaration?


      Emergency waivers?

      Affordable Housing is an emergency, but no environmental waivers…..kinda diminishes the argument that clean dirt needs a permit to extract or move around…..when contaminated dirt needs no ND or EIR for removal…..

    • Soo true, the guy that has a slow leak on his tractor would get fined more and have an all out environmental outrage on his hands.

      • Henchman Of Justice

        Great point!

        And following your lead, gas powered generators used for any uses in rural areas where the banter was fuel leaking into the ground that threatens waterways.

        Surely, 4000 gallons in one event of a fuel tanker spill in one spot is far worse than less than 4000 generators spread out and about hinter land, of which, a small percentage MIGHT be leaking an insignificant volume of fuel………and not even close to leaking a gallon per generator average…….storage of fuel is a completely different matter though.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      So, this is a story that appears to be an update to a story two days earlier.

      If true, why not advertised as an update?

      Does combining the two stories show deceit by DHHS to misrepresent the fuel spill collission related vehicle incident?

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Are these the newest style grow dozer?

    Parking is tough enough, but will get much worse when these start showing up covered in 707 stickers and tap out painted down the side.

    If Toyota starts making one it will get out of control fast.

  • the hydrocarbon will stay in the dry soil until winter;
    once the soil becomes saturated the rains will wash it all into the river.
    and who’s held responsible for this poisoning of the river in four months time???

  • What a load of bs, if I spilled (spilt?) 4000 gallons, I’d never see the light of day again. I thought they were boasting that none had leaked and they could wait until the next day to recover it. Remember that dentist that killed himself rather than deal with the fallout from a fuel spill.

    • I do remember that he was my dentist, sad

      • And the restarateur who moved to Thailand after his diesel spill rather than be bankrupted by fines & costs…Albert. Had the Red Gypsy where Cecil’s is now

      • Doctor Granite killed himself over his spill of 1,000 gallons of gasoline. Also the spill in Hacker Creek of about 1,500 gallons of fuel. That was the Red Gypsy Ranch on top of Salmon Creek. The owner who lived in Thailand also committed suicide rather than deal with the B/S over the shaming and guilt. The state took his 60 acres after him killed himself. Not sure if the Government sold the land or I heard they kept it as a police training camp.

  • “4,000 gallons of fuel is missing, but there is no evidence it went into the water”?? Uh, these people are idiots. Even if it didn’t directly pour into the river the accident happened right next to the river and that 4000 gallons will seep into the ground, and stay there until winter when it will be washed into the river. This 4k gallons of fuel will be far more harmful to the environment then everybody’s pot plants that the waterboard is so concerned are discharging fertilizer run off into the river. What a joke. make no mistake folks that 4k gallons of fuel is in/ going to be in the river.

  • This is insane. 4000 gallons of fuel into our river. This company has killed an ecosystem that we all depend on.

  • And a lot of people live downstream. And wildlife.

  • Where oh where did I put that shovel??? I need it soon it’s getting deeper by the minute from all the BS about the fuel spill!!! 4K gallons & NONE went in the river???? I find that extremely hard to swallow!!! Besides taht as was stated in a previous comment, what about when the rains start & the water level rises???? I have a feeling it WILL find its way into the stream then, if not before!!!

  • At this point it would probably be better to put a fire line around it and throw a road flare, better in the air than the river right,

    • That’s not quite how it works. It will only burn the fumes from the surface. The damage is done, we are all to blame for this.

  • ya you people are right. We really should not allow any fuel to be transported on a highway. Or a railway. We should eliminate all transporting trucks because if they get in a accident then fuel spills and all the fish die.

  • What water, you mean that algae infested puddle .Need to raise fuel taxes to pay for these situations

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Or, configure the facts, get the truth as to:

      How the collission occured. (Driver error, fatigue, drugs, alcohol, speeding, texting, picking a nose while blocking a face, ……what?)

      If the driver was at fault…..insurance company and business…….let business go after the driver individually if he or she violated company policy.

      If taxpayers are not reimbursed for all impact costs, fees, expenses, etc…. associated with this event, then the DA sure as hell better pull up her britches and go after all three of the aforementioned parties obligated to pay for this collission event.

  • Go down the river and see if there is fuel in the water maybe something can be done to contain it and clean it up .

  • Dyerville Loop is Not Alderpoint

    By Jesus is that ole Stickles with a tan? He was always about to burst a button.Handsom dude as ever was one.

  • This is how over-regulation by a corrupt government works, small Mom and Pops that cannot pay to play get choked out, big corporations simply pay the fine and move on.

  • Lost Croat Outburst

    Something is a bit hinkey about this press release. 4,000 gallons of gas has leaked from the truck and it is no big deal!? Bullshit. None of it made it to the river? The other day we were told there was almost no leakage.

  • The first release on this accident (no skid marks, the driver fell asleep) stated no breach of the tanks.. When did the tank breach.? During “recovery”.? was this not a huge fire hazard for traffic on 101.? The involved parties, including CHP and Cal Trans, seem to want to quiet this whole incident down..

  • i bet CHP and Cal Trans call this collateral dammage duh

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