Highway 22 Closed Through At Least Friday


Photo: Oregon State Police

Highway 22 near Idanha will remain closed through at least Friday to repair damage from a tanker crash that spilled over 7,800 gallons of fuel.

Some of the fuel made it to the North Santiam River and a sheen was visible for a few hundred feet downstream of the crash site.

Crews began excavating contaminated soil Monday morning.

About 400 feet of hard boom and other absorbent materials are in the river to contain and collect fuel. DEQ will continue to monitor potential impacts to fish and wildlife at and downstream of the site. There have been no reports of impacts to drinking water supplies in the area.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s On-Scene Coordinator and contractors are providing the water sampling data for hydrocarbon by-products at two- and four-mile intervals in the North Santiam River downstream of the crash site.

The fuel saturated the pavement and road base on 600 feet of the highway. ODOT has contracted a crew that will excavate the section of road and completely rebuild it.

Motorists traveling to and from the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon can use U.S. 20 and OR 126E as alternative routes.

The City of Salem issued the following statement about its drinking water:

Salem’s water continues to be clean and safe to drink. The North Santiam River is Salem’s source of drinking water. There is no risk to the City’s drinking water from the fuel spill which occurred on Sunday, February 16, 2020 when a tanker truck overturned on Highway 22 about 70 miles east of Salem. The location of the spill is up river from the dams on the North Santiam, which are up river from Salem’s Stayton area water treatment plant. 

In addition to a team of City Fire Department’s hazardous materials team and Public Works Environmental Response team, officials from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and from Oregon Department of Transportation were immediately on-site to contain the spill. Clean up has continued into Monday.

The location of the spill allowed Salem’s water treatment staff to adjust treatment procedures at the water treatment plant to ensure the drinking water remains safe for Salem residents and customers. Salem has stored river water for these situations. The City’s reservoirs have enough treated water to meet Salem’s water customers during short duration events. The City’s new ozone treatment facility, which will remove contaminants including fuel, will be on-line in 2021.

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