FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 2:30 a.m., November 28, 2011
BELLEVUE – The state Departments of Ecology and Transportation, Washington State Patrol, Bellevue Fire Department, a private cleanup contractor and other teams are responding to a gasoline spill after a tanker overturned on Interstate 405 on Sunday evening in Bellevue.
Up to 3,400 gallons of gasoline is believed to have spilled to the roadway, soil and storm drains near Northeast Eighth Street and I-405 near downtown Bellevue and just north of Highway 520. Some gasoline is confirmed to have reached Lake Washington, but it’s unclear how much. The tanker was believed to be carrying a total of 6,350 gallons.
Interstate 405 remains closed while cleanup crews work to contain the spill and clear the scene. The trucking company, Lee & Eastes Tank Lines, Inc., has hired a contractor, MRSA, to coordinate the cleanup. Ecology will remain on the scene to oversee the cleanup process.
According to the Washington State Patrol, the accident occurred when a car struck the tanker truck, causing the rear tank to roll over. A second vehicle appears then to have struck the overturned tanker.
Washington’s natural resources are always put at risk whenever oil is spilled or hazardous materials are released to the environment. All oil spills matter, regardless of size. The damage starts as soon as oil hits the water. Oil products are poisonous to the environment and they add to the toxic load to our water bodies. Spills also are difficult and costly to clean up. That’s why Ecology works to prevent spills from occurring in the first place.
Dieter Bohrmann, Department of Ecology, 360-701-7401, Dieter.Bohrmann@ecy.wa.gov
For more information:
Ecology Spills Program (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/spills/spills.html)
Ecology homepage (www.ecy.wa.gov/)