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Halliburton truck spills 20 gallons of diesel fuel into Colorado River

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A truck accident that spilled diesel fuel onto the banks of and into the Colorado River Saturday apparently caused no significant damage. At approximately 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon, a Halliburton pumper truck driven by Jason Kelly, 26, rounded a curve approaching the Una Bridge five miles west of Battlement Mesa and hit the guard rail, which pierced the fuel tank, said assistant Garfield County manager Jesse Smith.Kelly was not injured in the accident.The truck “hit the bridge abutment,” Smith said, and the impact “ripped the fuel tank off. Obviously he was going too fast.”Halliburton District Manager Larry Kent said, “The driver cut it too close,” when rounding the curve before the bridge. Halliburton provides fracturing and other services to the oil and gas industry in the region.Kent said about 20 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the river. About 130 gallons leaked out of the fuel tank. The company immediately hired an environmental cleanup company to manage the spill.”It was all contained,” Kent said. “Halliburton is a very environmentally responsible company and will do any remediation” required.Smith said the Una Bridge was closed for a time Saturday evening as sand and dirt was packed on the bank above the river to absorb the spilled fuel. A 10-inch “boom” of cloth was floated into the river to contain the fuel so it would not float downstream.The Colorado Division of Wildlife was called in to monitor the spill. “A district wildlife manager walked the banks of the river and didn’t find any dead fish,” said DOW spokesman Randy Hampton. “There’s enough water in the river that 20 gallons would dilute pretty quickly,” he said. “We will continue to monitor it for at least the next few days.”Hampton said the Colorado River has an endangered fish population located between DeBeque and the Grand Junction area that is federally protected.Smith, who is also the acting county oil and gas liaison, notified the town of DeBeque and Mesa County to close their water intake valves in the event of the spill reaching them.Bridge inspectors were called in and expected to survey the damage Monday, Smith said.He also applauded Halliburton’s efforts immediately after the spill.”They took responsibility immediately; they’ll pay for anything and everything.”Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 16605dgray@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Colo. CO


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