No Gas Detected In Salem’s Drinking Water

Samples taken at drinking water intakes downstream of the semi tanker crash site along the North Santiam River near Detroit did not show the presence of gasoline, preliminary reports show. A more detailed analysis is expected Tuesday.

On Sunday and again on Monday, responders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took water samples at drinking water intakes for Lyons/Mehama, Stayton, Gates and Salem. The intake for the Minto Fish Hatchery, owned by the U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers, was sampled as well at the request of the facility.

The preliminary data reported today was from samples taken on Sunday. On Tuesday EPA should receive final data from Sunday's sampling activity as well as preliminary results from samples collected on Monday. During the sampling responders didn't see or smell gasoline and air monitoring at those locations didn't detect the presence of gasoline vapors.

Excavation work on the site continues. So far 300 cubic yards of contaminated soil has been removed along Oregon 22. Soil sampling to determine the extent of contamination is ongoing. Booms are deployed on the river adjacent to the spill to try and help prevent residual gasoline from migrating downstream

Also on Sunday, EPA conducted air monitoring at some homes bordering Detroit Lake and in the communities of Detroit and Idanha. Responders didn't smell gasoline and air monitoring didn't detect the presence of gasoline vapors at those locations.

Additional air monitoring and water sampling is planned. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will also work with contractors for the trucking company, Central Petro, out of Bend, to ensure a long-term river water monitoring plan is in place.

Oregon 22 in the Santiam Canyon remains closed between milepost 55 at the east end of Idanha to the Santiam Junction where Oregon 22 and U.S. 20 intersects. The Oregon Department of Transportation advises that U.S. 20 is an alternate route for travelers going between the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. Oregon 22 will remain closed indefinitely because of damage caused by the crash. ODOT is assessing the damage and determining what repairs will be needed.

The crash, which occurred late Friday night, resulted in one fatality. The tanker was carrying an estimated 11,600 gallons of gasoline. It is unknown how much of the gasoline burned in the ensuing fire and how much spilled into the soil and made its way to the river.

DEQ is coordinating on the response with EPA, ODOT, Salem, the Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Oregon State Police, Oregon State Fire Marshal, Linn County Sheriff's Office, Linn and Marion counties, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, The Confederated Tribes of the Siletz, The Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde and The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs tribes, and others.

Source: Oregon DEQ

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