Most Fuel Recovered in Tanker Spill: Officials

No threat to wildlife or endangered animals and no threat to drinking water, officials said

Chris Winter

Wildlife officials say they’ve recovered most of the 3,700 gallons of diesel fuel that spilled when a tanker truck overturned near Mission Bay Park’s Southern Wildlife Preserve.

“There was a fair amount of soil contamination,” Robert Wise with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

Just a "small amount" of the fuel landed in the San Diego River, Wise said.

Workers have been on the site for four days removing the contaminated dirt and putting into dumpsters.

Emergency responders kept the spill from reaching the storm drain. As a result, 85 percent of the oil was recovered in the first day according to Kris Wiese, with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“It’s been a really phenomenal cleanup,” Wiese said.

The San Diego Audubon Society was concerned about the different habitats in the preserve.

However, officials said Tuesday there is no threat to wildlife or endangered animals and no threat to drinking water.

The SOCO Petroleum truck driver lost control on a ramp from Interstate 8 to Morena Boulevard on May 13 at 6 p.m. He suffered minor injuries. The cause of the crash hasn’t been determined.

Angus McDonald, President of The SoCo Group, attended the news conference Tuesday and thanked the federal, state and local agencies for their help in the cleanup.

Cleanup in the preserve may take up to a month with brush and soil removal, according to the County Department of Environmental Health.

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