The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

Valdez Star 

Guilty plea entered on oil pollution charge from February crash

Wreck spilled 2,500 gallons of diesel


October 24, 2018

File photo from ADEC

Fuel being lightered from the pup trailer after the Feb. 22 wreck on the Richardson Highway and Dayville Rd.

The driver of the oil tanker that crashed into a ditch and caused a large spill in Valdez last February has pleaded guilty to a single charge of oil pollution.

The Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reported Monday that Louis Nations, age 62, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of Oil Pollution as a result of the Feb. 22, crash.

The DEC shed light on the incident in Monday's news release.

"Dash camera footage of Nations' BSL truck cab shows Nations passing a flashing yellow light warning of an upcoming intersection," DEC said. "Nations drove into the intersection at a speed of approximately 47 miles per hour and ran into a snowbank."

Nations was driving a double tanker truck for Big State Logistics (BSL) when the crash occurred as he headed towards a blinking stop sign on Dayville Rd that ends at the Richardson Highway.

Instead of stopping and preparing to turn, the oil tanker careened across the highway and into the ditch across the highway, which DEC said resulted in a spill of "2,800 gallons of #2 Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel."

The wreckage and spill occurred approximately 50 feet from a tributary that reportedly supports a variety of fish species, including salmon.

Magistrate Judge Kay Adams presided over the hearing. Nations was placed under a year of probation with 60-days of community service imposed that must be performed for an environmental conservation organization, DEC said. A portion of a $5,000 fine and a 10-day jail sentence was suspended.

Authorities reported in the days after the crash that clean-up response crews collected "approximately 10,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater" which was collected by vac-trucks for separation. Absorbent boom was also placed in locations along the tributary and were monitored by DEC.

In addition to ADEC, responding agencies included the U.S. Coast Guard, the Valdez Fire and Police Departments, and contractors hired by Big State Logistics; members of the Alaska National Guard, who were in Valdez to participate in drill exercises were given some real-time emergency experience in helping with the clean-up process.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 05/22/2019 20:15