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Print

Truck towing herbicide tank tips over, spills into Prairie Creek

April 25, 2012 at 01:08 PM

Gatehouse News Service

TREMONT — An agricultural spreader containing about 1,200 gallons of herbicide fell into a Tazewell County creek Tuesday morning.

The spreader being pulled by a truck tipped over into Prairie Creek after hitting a guard rail close to the intersection of Allentown Road and Fourth Avenue, according to a preliminary report by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

A strong chemical odor was present about 1,000 feet from the area of Allentown Road between Baer Road and Fourth Street. Workers posted “Emergency Scene Ahead” signs on Baer Road between Morton and Tremont.

An unknown amount of the herbicide, as well as oil and diesel fuel from the vehicle, leaked into the water, according to a news release by Morton Fire Department Chief Joe Kelley.

Kelley said the tank capacity was 1,200 gallons and it was nearly full, but that not all of the material spilled.

The EPA was notified of the spill at the edge of a farm at about 11:30 a.m. and provided assistance to the Morton and Pekin fire departments. Two agents on the scene reported a large fish kill one mile downstream from the spill site, according to Illinois EPA spokeswoman Maggie Carson.

The fish kill was reported to the Department of Natural Resources, and the two agencies will continue to investigate.

Crews were working Tuesday afternoon to dam the creek and prevent further contamination. A private environmental consultant has been hired to design and implement a plan to minimize the effects and prevent any further damage from the accident, according to Carson.

The driver was transported to Pekin Hospital after the accident. That person’s identity and condition were not released on Tuesday.

GateHouse News Service contributed to this report.

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