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Toppenish Creek Truck Spill

Site Contact:
Jeffrey Fowlow
On-Scene Coordinator


Site Location:
U.S. Hwy 97 & Toppenish Creek
Toppenish, WA 98948
NRC#: 1313323

On Sunday, August 8, 2021, a semi-truck and trailer crashed and overturned into Toppenish Creek and its associated wetlands off of U.S. Highway 97, approximately 4 miles south of Toppenish, Yakima County, WA. The site is located within the Yakama Reservation, as well as in the Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge and a lamprey rehabilitation area.  The truck’s tanks and refrigerated trailer diesel tank were punctured and discharged oil into the creek and wetlands, and cargo from the trailer was ejected into the creek and wetlands. The Yakama Tribe, along with assistance from the Washington Department of Ecology, initially responded to the spill to remove oil in saddle tanks and conduct booming activities.

On Tuesday, August 10, the Yakama Tribe contacted EPA Region 10 and requested assistance in order to continue response and removal activities, such as removing the truck and it’s continuing threat of discharge of oil, as well as removing ejected cargo so the creek and wetland can be further assessed and hidden oil removed.  EPA mobilized an OSC to the site, and has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for issuance of a Pollution Removal Funding Authorization to the Yakama Tribe to help fund their oil response activities.  EPA is also coordinating with the Tribe and DOI.