Tanker spills its drilling fluids on Highway 13 in north Rifle | PostIndependent.com

Tanker spills its drilling fluids on Highway 13 in north Rifle

Mike McKibbin
Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Bonnie Strong Special to the Post Independent

RIFLE, Colorado ” Traffic was expected to be allowed to use the Colorado Highway 13 bypass and Railroad Avenue in Rifle Thursday evening, after it was closed that morning due to an overturned tanker that leaked natural gas condensate liquid, Rifle police said.

Police released more details about the accident at 4:30 p.m. It was reported at 10:12 a.m. and caused apparently minor injuries to the unnamed male driver. He was taken to Grand River Medical Center for treatment, police said in a written statement.

While traffic was blocked from the area, motorists used Whiteriver Avenue to get north and south through Rifle.

Police said a northbound tractor-trailer rolled over onto its side at the Railroad Avenue and Highway 13 bypass intersection, where several other tankers have overturned in recent years. The trailer ruptured and released an estimated 5,000 gallons of condensate, police said.

Emergency crews with at least one bulldozer built an earthen dam around one large spill and used dirt and other materials to absorb more condensate. It appeared some of the condensate liquid ran down the gutters of Railroad Avenue to the 16th Street light.

Police said in the statement that a small amount of the liquid did reach a storm drain, which was closed shortly after.

Authorities advised residents and businesses to evacuate the scene between 21st and 24th streets, and Reverse 911 phone calls were made to residents in the Deerfield Park subdivision to advise them to seek shelter to avoid exposure to potentially harmful fumes from the condensate.

Condensate is a combination of petroleum-based compounds that give off possibly harmful fumes, especially if they gather in enclosed places.

Along with Rifle police and Rifle Fire Protection District crews, the Grand Junction Police Department’s Hazardous Materials Team, Burning Mountains and Glenwood Springs Fire Protection districts and Garfield County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User