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DNR investigates impact of tractor-trailer accident

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is investigating the environmental impact of a tractor-trailer accident late Monday that resulted in the loss of 150 gallons of diesel fuel along the shoulder of I-55 in Ste. Genevieve County.

According to an announcement Tuesday by the DNR, the State Emergency Management Agency contacted the Department’s Environmental Emergency Response section at 10:25 p.m. Monday. The Agency explained that a tractor-trailer’s fuel tank had been punctured by road debris and was leaking diesel fuel at the side of the interstate at mile marker 156.4.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper on the scene reported that some of the fuel flowed down an embankment from the highway and into Fourche a Du Clos Creek. Heavy rains in the area and the fast-flowing stream are believed to have diluted and dispersed the fuel, according to the DNR.

The department dispatched a state on-scene coordinator from its Southeast Regional Office in Poplar Bluff to determine the extent, if any, of the environmental damage.

If a cleanup is warranted, the trucking company, Sharp Trucking of Sharp’s Chapel, Tenn., will be responsible for the costs.

From July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007, vehicle accidents accounted for 15 percent of the environmental emergency incidents reported to the department, and petroleum products accounted for 43 percent of materials released during environmental emergencies.

The DNR’s Environmental Emergency Response section is called to the scene of more than 300 emergencies each year, including fires, traffic accidents, leaking storage tanks and other incidents that could have a negative environmental impact. The department’s 24-hour spill line receives more than 1,600 incident reports annually.

To report an environmental emergency, including fuel spills, contact the spill line at (573) 634-2436. For more information, contact the Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-361-4827 or (573) 751-3443, or visit the department’s Web page at <<a href=””>> .

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