At approximately 10:30 AM on 2/11/2019, a tanker truck carrying winter grade diesel fuel overturned on Interstate 84 near Mile Post 54, about 9 miles west of the town of Hood River, Oregon in snowy road conditions. It is estimated that 4,400 gallons of diesel fuel were lost to the roadway, which then flowed across both lanes of the interstate, down a steep embankment and into Lindsey Lake, which is partially frozen and hydraulically connected to the Columbia River.
EPA mobilized an OSC and START contractors from Portland, Oregon to enter Unified Command, oversee the cleanup operations, conduct air monitoring and site assessment. Winter weather, heavy snow, and difficult site conditions have posed significant response challenges. The spill site lies along a major east-west highway and rail transportation corridor, which has also created safety and logistical challenges related to equipment staging and available working platforms to conduct response operations.
Snow plowing operations spread contamination further along the roadway and diesel fuel has impacted Lindsey Creek and Lindsey Lake, a known salmon spawning lake habitat. Unified Command is working closely with ODOT to create lane closure plans to facilitate operational needs and ensure the safety of responders. Further, Unified Command is coordinating with Columbia River Trustees such as the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fishing Commission (CRITFC), U.S. Fish and Wildlife, NOAA, and DOI.