Diesel Spill June 17, 2015

Wednesday morning June 17, a dump truck traveling on Piney Branch Rd just short of Sligo Creek had brackets holding its auxiliary diesel tank break. Diesel oil spilled into the street – an unknown amount held by a 50—75 gallon tank, and into a storm drain that connects directly into Sligo Creek. In short order – an estimated 45 minutes, MDE's Emergency Response Division was on the scene, with HazMat fire trucks facilitating and putting down soaker pads. Additionally, Atlas environmental contractors hired by the company were on scene within a couple hours assisting the effort. Soaker pads, booms and other absorptive devices were put into the creek both a quarter mile below the Piney Branch bridge and down by the Kennebec playground. MDE determined that no fuel spilled past Kennebec.

The smell of diesel was quite strong down to Kennebec thru the day. There was a remaining slight sheen on the water. At early afternoon, fire trucks loaded about 750 gallons of water into the creek to get some fuel stuck in some detritis to move down to be caught by booms. I saw the resulting diesel release. No dead fish or other damage was obviously visible. Sources include Park Police, MDE, Takoma Park official, and several personal visits of the scene.

Kit Gage

Oil sheen as seen from Piney Branch bridge

Boom near playground at Kennebec

Sweep 1/4 mi downstream from spill. After firefighters sent a surge of water to loosen the diesel oil, the oil is caught in the sweep structure.